Friday, October 24, 2014

Food Reward Friday

This week's lucky "winner"... the pumpkin spice latte!!

What better way to spice up a boring old latte than adding some pumpkin spice... and a truckload of cream and sugar??  The Starbucks pumpkin spice latte makes it happen.  At 380 kilocalories for the 16-oz "grande", this beast of a beverage contains the same number of calories as 3.5 beers or 4 glasses of wine.  For breakfast.  It also contains 49 grams of sugar-- more than a 12-oz can of cola.

The pumpkin spice latte is a food reward masterpiece.  In addition to containing large amounts of easily digested fat and sugar, it boasts 150 milligrams of caffeine.  While caffeine is probably a benign indulgence as drugs go, it is mildly habit-forming; in other words it's rewarding.  Without caffeine, we would probably have little appreciation for the bitter flavor of coffee.

The combination of sugar, fat, and caffeine is rewarding enough that the pumpkin spice latte has become extremely popular-- Starbucks sells over 20 million of the drinks per year, even though it's only available for a limited time during the fall.  Its motivating value compels millions of people to pay a remarkable amount of money for it.

Thanks to Ashley Mason for the suggestion.
Thanks to Takeaway for the photo (Wikipedia).


Bret said...

Starbucks was invented by and is run by some truly brilliant geniuses. If you had told me 43 years ago that a company was being founded that would one day make ungodly profits calling large cups of sugar "coffee" and selling them to eager customers for $6 a pop, I would have said you were crazy.

And as sarcastic as I am coming across, I admit fully that I am occasionally one of those eager customers myself. :-)

mcpinier said...

Hi Stephan,

Thank you for keeping this great blog running. You, Reinhard Engels, and Dr. David Katz have saved my sanity - and I am not using hyperbole when I say that. I have reached a lower weight by completely eliminating the 'low hanging fruit' that you list in level one, but I am not yet at the weight that I felt the best at. I want to get back to that weight as the new/former set point for my body, but cannot imagine myself going all the way to level five of your levels. I know you have very limited time to spend on this blog, but when you finish your meat series, would you consider giving your scholarly opinion of intermittent fasting as a means of achieving a lower set point. The popular regimens like 5:2 and EOD feel like something I could do and be happy with, but I don't want to bother going there if it is futile or worse, potentially harmful.

Kind regard

Ashley said...

Woo hoo, great choice! I didn't realize the incredible caffeine content boom in that morning cocktail - a winner indeed.
Cheers, Ashley

Unknown said...


I just saw this, and thought you may have to update this particular Food Reward Friday! Now there's one for every (work)day of the week!