Sunday, June 5, 2011

Woman Sues Dunkin' Donuts Over Sugar in Coffee

There is just no way that sugar is a healthy food for diabetics, except on those rare occasions it's the only thing available to treat hypoglycemia. But a Philadelphia woman is suing the Dunkin' Donuts chain for serving her coffee with sugar in it. How could this be?


There may be some facts left out of the AP story but apparently the claim is this: Danielle Jordan asked for artificial sweetener to be added to her coffee on a visit to Dunkin' Donuts. She drank the coffee, felt dizzy, and made an emergency trip to a nearby hospital.

We don't know that Ms. Jordan is claiming that 5 grams of sugar in her coffee she didn't ask for was the problem, or whether she also ate 50 or 100 or 150 grams of sugar or more in donuts before she drank the coffee. Or how she can prove there was sugar in her coffee if she drank it all.

Can drinking coffee with sugar really make you sick?

If you weigh 100 kilos (220 pounds) and you eat two teaspoons (10 grams) of sugar, your blood sugar levels will probably go up about 30-50 mg/dl (2-4 mmol/L). If you weigh less, your blood sugar levels will go up more, and if you weigh more, your blood sugar levels will go up less.

If you eat a single donut, you might get a 100-200 mg/dl swing in your blood sugar levels. How much your blood sugar levels go up depends on what else you have in your stomach.

If you haven't eaten anything you are not supposed to before you consume a coffee with two sugars, you probably aren't go to feel anything. It's blood sugar levels going down that typically make you feel dizzy.

So maybe there is a lot to this story that isn't being told. Or maybe the plaintiff is claiming that eating sugar makes everybody else's blood sugar levels go up but made hers go down and Dunkin' Donuts ought to pay her for that.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops. But in the meantime, don't put sugar in your coffee, but don't worry about getting deathly ill from it if you do.

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