MELROSE PARK, Ill. – When you’re ordering the new Starbucks “trenta” you’re not only getting a massive drink (31 ounces) but also a massive amount of calories (up to 600), with the potential to pack on more than 60 extra pounds in one year.
“An extra 200 calories per day will lead to a weight gain of about 2 pounds per month, or 21 pounds per year, so an extra 600 calories could mean an increase in weight of upwards of 63 pounds in a year,” said Jessica Bartfield, MD, an internal medicine and medical weight-loss specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System.
A normal cup of coffee is considered to be 6 to 8 ounces, and studies have suggested that 1 to 2 cups of caffeinated coffee daily can have health benefits. “The new ‘trenta’ will offer 4 to 5 cups of coffee in one serving, and unfortunately the additional caffeine will not ‘burn off’ the excess calories,” Dr. Bartfield said.
“People need to recognize that these drinks are not necessarily innocent ways to quench our thirst, boost our energy or satisfy a sweet tooth,” she said. “Drinks are rather sneaky sources, usually, of empty calories – nutritionally deplete.”
Gottlieb offers a medically supervised weight-loss program involving physicians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and behavioralists to establish positive lifestyle habits that lead to achieving a healthy weight.
“Increasing sizes of food or beverages potentially distorts our perception of portion size and makes it difficult to respond to our body’s natural cues of being hungry or thirsty or full,” said Courtney Burtscher, clinical psychologist who runs the monthly behavior management group as part of Loyola’s weight-loss program. People will sometimes use external cues to decide when to eat and when to stop. Cues can include the following: when others are eating, when the TV show they are watching goes to commercial or is over and when their portion is gone.”
According to Dr. Burtscher, factors that contribute to how much people eat may include:
generational – “My parents taught me to clean my plate and not waste food.”
relational – “Feelings will be hurt if I don’t finish what they made/gave me.”
economical – “This is such a good deal – more bang for my buck.”
convenience – “I’m in a rush and need it now.”
emotional – “Extreme moods may increase the chances for emotional eating.”
“Massive amounts of food and drink should not be promoted to American consumers when the majority of our population is overweight or obese,” Dr. Bartfield said.
Both doctors believe that taking personal responsibility for our health is important.
“Knowing our own body and our own nutritional needs is an important part of eating healthily and taking care of ourselves,” Dr. Burtscher said. “Self awareness decreases the possibility of using external cues such as price, size or others’ behaviors, and can lead to behavior change and successful eating habits.”
On Thursday, Jan. 27, Dr. Jessica Bartfield will be at a community women’s wellness event in Oak Park from 6:30 to 9 p.m. offering nutrition and health information along with a dozen other physicians. The event will be held at the Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid Ave., Oak Park. Please contact Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 if you are interested in an interview with Dr. Bartfield or Dr. Burtscher or plan to attend.
Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.