How a breakfast survey at High Street restaurants and coffee shops has recorded very high and harmful sugar levels in many popular breakfast items

Not so sweet: pancakes with maple syrup and sausages. Image by M. Sheldrake (via Shuttestock).

If you’re reading this article whilst enjoying a triple chocolate muffin or a bowl of sweetened porridge, you may wish to visit another site.  Forget that, why not take our advice and read on?  We at the Smile Specialist Centre think you ought to do so.  For dental health, a recent breakfast survey has made for shocking reading.

Dr. Wayne Osborne has conducted a survey about the nutritional content of breakfast items at well-known restaurants, coffee shops, and public house chains.  These include saturated fat content, salt content, calories, and - pertinently for us - sugar content.  The recommended daily allowance for sugar per person is 90g.  Some of the items in his breakfast survey contain up to 86% of our RDA for sugar content.

Sugar Levels comparison chart

  1. Harvester: Belgian Waffles with Chargrilled Fresh Pineapple and Watermelon, drizzled with Maple flavoured Syrup and Greek style Yoghurt: 77.4g (86% of your RDA);
  2. J.D. Wetherspoon: MOMA! Porridge with Banana and Honey: 64.3g (71.4% of your RDA);
  3. McDonalds: Pancakes and Sausage with Maple Syrup: 53g (58.9% of your RDA);
  4. Burger King: Warm Belgian Waffle (all flavours): 45g (50% of your RDA);
  5. Starbucks Coffee: Lemon Poppyseed Muffin: 42.8g (47.6% of your RDA);
  6. Costa Coffee: Triple Chocolate Muffin: 40.9g (45.4% of your RDA);
  7. Pret a Manger: Double Berry Muffin: 39.9g (44.3% of your RDA);
  8. Greggs: Triple Chocolate Muffin: 39g (43.3% of your RDA);
  9. Eat.: Banana, Honey and Grape Nuts: 38.3g (42.6% of your RDA);
  10. Caffe Nero: Triple Chocolate Muffin: 34.9g (38.8% of your RDA);
  11. Wimpy: BBQ Chicken Toastie: 11.2g (12.4% of your RDA).

Source: Dr. Wayne Osborne/

Reading between the lines of’s breakfast survey, it may be best to lay off the triple chocolate muffins.  To be brutally honest, laying off all of the eleven items will do your teeth a world of good. Though it is cheaper to make any of the above items at home, Dr. Osborne’s survey carries great weight due to the popularity of the eleven outlets surveyed.

Meanwhile at home...

Besides the startling findings of Dr. Osborne’s breakfast survey, some of your favourite breakfast cereals were scrutinised in January 2015, in a survey conducted by Action on Sugar.  Compared with own brand cereals, branded cereals had less sugar than their own brand counterparts.  Furthermore, it was reported that sugar levels had increased in the cereals surveyed compared with 2012 figures.

The worst offender was Aldi’s Harvest Morn Choco Rice, which is similar to Kellogg’s better known equivalent.  For every 100g, sugar rose from 33g to 39g.  Both Morrisons’ and Sainsburys’ versions of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes saw a rise from 33.6g to 36.3g.  By contrast, Kellogg’s cereal stayed at 35g.


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