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Old 06-17-2006, 10:26 PM   #1
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060616/...e_starbucks_dc


By Abha Bhattarai
Fri Jun 16, 5:37 PM ET



NEW YORK (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp. may be next on the target list of a consumer-health group that this week sued the operator of the KFC fried chicken restaurant chain for frying foods in oils high in harmful trans fat.

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it is planning to campaign against the global cafe chain because of the increased risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer associated with high-calorie, high-fat products it sells.

And the possibility of legal action against Starbucks, similar to the case it is taking against KFC owner Yum Brands Inc., has not been ruled out, said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.

"Regular consumers of Starbucks products could face Venti-sized health problems," Jacobson said, referring to Starbucks' use of the 'Venti' designation for 'large.'

The group is primarily funded by newsletter subscribers and individual donors. It has support in the campaign from the small IWW Starbucks Workers Union, which has members in three stores, all in New York.

They would like Starbucks to list nutrition information -- which is currently available online and in store brochures -- on its menu boards.

"Customers can ask for nutrition information, but when you're talking about a transparent business in a busy world, that's not enough," union organizer and Starbucks "barista" staff member Daniel Gross said in an interview.

He said the company should use healthier shortenings without trans fat, and publicize its smallest size, "short," which is available but does not appear on the menu.

The union contends that Starbucks staff gain weight when they work at the chain. They are offered unlimited beverages and leftover pastries for free during their shifts.

A 20-ounce Venti banana mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream contains 720 calories and 11 grams of saturated fat, and a banana cream crunch bar weighs in at 630 calories and 25 grams of saturated fat. By comparison, a McDonald's Corp. Big Mac has 560 calories and 11 grams of saturated fat.

A Starbucks spokesman said in a statement it is "actively researching" alternatives to high-fat products. The company said it plans to eliminate trans fat from seasonal baked goods -- but not necessarily other products -- by this fall.

"In our beverage ingredients, we have reformulated any component that contained significant artificial trans fat content," the spokesman said.

Wendy's International Inc. and Panera Bread Co. have recently announced efforts to reduce or eliminate trans fats from their menus. Trans fat is an artery-clogging solid fat found in partially hydrogenated oils.

"Most people are taking the trans fat out of their foods because they raise the risk of heart disease and obesity," said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at NYU. "There's a lot of pressure to do so, especially since the (KFC) lawsuit."

Jacobson said Starbucks may have been spared the scrutiny fast-food chains received recently because of its health-conscious image.

"People expect foods from Dunkin' Donuts to be unhealthy, but Starbucks has more of an upper middle class, healthy, hip, politically correct facade," Jacobson said. "But the food is just as harmful to your arteries."
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:34 PM   #2
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Can I just say WOW I didn't know the banana frap was that bad for you! My husband drinks them alll the time! Makes me glad I'm a black coffee/nonfat latte kinda girl.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:40 PM   #3
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All i have to say to this is that if people really couldn't figure out food from KFC and full-cream beverages with whipping cream on top of them from Starbucks are bad for them.... this world is a sad place. It just seems so wrong to sue people for offering a high fat food when you make the choice to eat it in the first place. Grrr.
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:52 AM   #4
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I completely agree, sierra. Just another frivolous, unfounded lawsuit to waste both time and money. It may bring health issues to light that people hadn't thought about before, but I'd say 99% of those people would forget about it in about a week and go right back to their old habits, not caring how fattening or artery-clogging anything is. If they cared about the fat or calories, they would check before they bought the stuff, plain and simple. Listing the info on the menu board (as suggested in this article) is more likely to just make people order the same exact thing and make a comment like, "ooh, I'm being so bad--but it tastes so good!" and move on.

Oh, and not showing "short" as a drink size? You can't sue them for that--that's strictly a marketing ploy to get people to order the larger sizes, therefore, spending more money. It's not because Starbuck's wants everyone to be fat and/or die of a heart attack. Oi vei...
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Old 06-18-2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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LOL, this whole thing is getting so stupid. A moron knows that going to McDonalds, Starbucks, Wendy's..........etc.... isn't exactly the most healthy choice. All you have to do is just say no! Many of these chains have made changes to the oils they use and in return have completely lost the taste of the food. If I am in the mood for fast food, I want the yummy stuff the way it was!! Too many people treat fast food as breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. It should be viewed as a once in a long while treat for most of us.
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Old 06-18-2006, 11:35 AM   #6
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I agree! Actually I saw this report yesterday when I was surfing the net. No such thing as personal responsibility in our society!! It is ridiculous when people are not allowed to sell certain foods because we are all deemed too stupid to know they are bad for us.

LOL they are whining because the employees gain weight from all the free drinks and pastries! Well DUH no one is forcing the stuff down their throats! And people don't expect Starbucks to be fattening because it is upper middle class???? SHEESH!
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle
I agree! Actually I saw this report yesterday when I was surfing the net. No such thing as personal responsibility in our society!! It is ridiculous when people are not allowed to sell certain foods because we are all deemed too stupid to know they are bad for us.

LOL they are whining because the employees gain weight from all the free drinks and pastries! Well DUH no one is forcing the stuff down their throats! And people don't expect Starbucks to be fattening because it is upper middle class???? SHEESH!

Yeah, like upper middle class people don't get fat. Hahahahaha!
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassie501107
Yeah, like upper middle class people don't get fat. Hahahahaha!
Ummmm shouldn't they be the ones who are MORE educated as to proper nutrition?

Yah it is only those poor people who get fat... yah RIGHT!!
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:10 AM   #9
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This is the reason I've never had anything from Starbucks....I can't imagine drinking more than half of the calories I need in one day! That's crazy in itself.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:44 AM   #10
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I don't go to Starbucks (don't like coffee) but several of my friends do. They drink it like water. I had heard that it was really bad for you, but that's crazy! I should send this to them.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:06 PM   #11
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Wow, I didn't know Starbucks offered a "short" cup. I'm a reformed venti mocha drinker ... now I drink a small or medium regular coffee with a little milk in it.

You know, I don't think eliminating trans-fats could ever be a bad thing, but TamiL, you make an excellent point about occasional use versus daily dining. Of course, these places want everybody to come several times a week (McDonald's and their RedBox video deal encouraging you to come back to return the movie - and buy another fast-food meal).
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:04 PM   #12
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here's a reasonable starbuck's treat:

tea bag chai [not the latte mix stuff - which is loaded with calories], and have them add about an inch of steamed milk. less than 2 dollars, and the only calories you get are from the milk.
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