​Restaurant Chains Remove Freakshakes From Menu Due To Sugar Content

The war on sugar has been raging for some time now - with the sugar tax having already thoroughly shaken up the soft drinks industry since it was introduced back in April last year.

Now the latest sweet treat under scrutiny is the flamboyant, sugar-laden phenomenon known as the 'freakshake', a loaded milkshake piled high with biscuits, doughnuts and more - which has been investigated in the latest episode of Tricks of the Restaurant Trade.

Of course, in theory, a freakshake sounds pretty freakin' delicious, but the programme revealed there's a bit of a dark side to the 'Kim Kardashian of the dessert world' - which is often seen on social media sites like Instagram because of its photogenic ridiculousness.

The show revealed that a typical freakshake contains around 95g of sugar - more than three times the recommended daily allowance for anyone over the age of 11.

Sugar cubes. Credit: PA
Sugar cubes. Credit: PA

Specialist paediatric dietician Nicole Rothband said: "95g of sugar is a lot of energy that your body's got to use up across the day, otherwise you're going to lay it down as fat.

"You really don't want a child to be drinking that amount of sugar because over time you can get liver damage, you can get damage to your heart from type two diabetes and kidney damage."

Now, however, there's a call for change, with Action on Sugar nutritionist Kawther Hashem saying: "There's two main actions that we would like to see. The first one is the amount of sugar in these drinks should be gradually reduced.

"The other thing is to be transparent about the nutritional content of them. I think that if more consumers realise that some of these freakshakes contain over 1,000 calories, less consumers will choose it."

Many restaurants have already begun to make changes, with some removing freakshakes altogether from their menus.

Presenter Sophie Morgan discovered the Unicorn Freakshake that was being sold at Toby Carvery contained a whopping 156g of sugar - the equivalent of 39 sugar cubes, and more than five times the 30g recommended maximum daily amount.

The RDA for sugar versus the amount Toby Carvery's Unicorn Freakshake contained. Credit: Channel 4
The RDA for sugar versus the amount Toby Carvery's Unicorn Freakshake contained. Credit: Channel 4

However, since research on the programme started, Toby Carvery has now removed all freakshakes from its restaurants.

TGI Friday, Byron Burger and Frankie and Benny's, meanwhile, all still feature such desserts on their menus, without featuring any information about nutritional information.

The biggest of the three chains, Frankie and Benny's, sells a Salted Caramel Waffle Freakshake containing 86.7g of sugar - but not for long.

A statement from Frankie and Benny's revealed there were plans to not only reduce the range, but also to get rid of freakshakes altogether.

"Our freakshakes are... an occasional treat," the statement said.

"We are reducing our range... to just one and... are working towards removing them completely by the end of the year."

The Freakshakes on offer at Frankie and Benny's. Credit: Frankie and Benny's
The Freakshakes on offer at Frankie and Benny's. Credit: Frankie and Benny's

Many viewers took to social media to express their outrage about the sugar content in freakshakes, with one writing: "Horrified at the amount of sugar in these #freakshakes - 95 grams. There is no need to have that on sale, this country has a massive obesity crisis especially in kids. Should be banned."

But others weren't best pleased with the news that freakshakes were on their way out - saying it was another example of 'nanny state nonsense'.

"To be fair don't order them if you don't want sugar... 95g... lol," one tweeted.

Another said: "It's called a freakshake for a reason, it's full of sugary stuff. No one is forced to drink it, and certainly not every day."

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel (yeah, yeah, I know) and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]

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