by Anne Finch, Accredited Practising Dietitian for LiveLighter

Illustration of a man with a mega milkshake in hand

Seen the obscene milk shakes all over your social media? You know, the ones that are made in a jar and have two donuts and a full English breakfast on top? I really hate to come over all food-police on this one, but I think we need to settle down with all the extreme foods.

I made up a recipe to do a nutritional analysis – and I think this is an important point – because this kind of nutrition information is not readily available on Instagram or at cafés serving these. Would having this kind of information make people think twice about buying them? Maybe, maybe not. Here it is:

Ingredients Amount Kilojoules Fat (g) Sugar (g)
Full cream milk 400 mL 1158 14 25
Ice cream 2 scoops 1082 14 27
Whipped cream (sweetened) 2 scoops 972 24 4
Glazed donuts 2 big ones 2962 34 37
Candied bacon 2 strips 1028 5 33
Caramel sauce 4 tbs 707 6 29
Chocolate biscuits 3 medium 685 7 10
Total 8593 104 164

Also, 2600 mg of sodium. It’s recommended that adults don’t have more than 2300 mg per day.

If you wanted to balance that extra energy intake with exercise, you’d have to ‘shake it off’ for about seven hours. That’s right. It would take me more than seven hours of dancing to burn that much energy (this will be different for you based on your age, height, weight and sex). If dancing’s not your thing, 10 hours of walking will burn off one of these mega milkshakes.

I understand that most people aren’t having this kind of thing regularly. And that no one is pretending it’s a health food. But can we cool it with the glamorisation of excess already? There are mega burgers and crazy huge combo meals and eating competitions all over the place. They’re like the Hummers or gold toilets of the beverage world. It’s just too much. It’s wasteful. And it’s contributing to a food culture that distorts our idea of what a normal serve size is.

This portion distortion has been going on in restaurants for years, and it’s moved into the home. Because we get 250 gram steaks in a restaurant we think that’s what we should make at home. And if we get served a muffin smaller than our head in a café we feel ripped off. And now my Instagram is telling me that I need two desserts on top of my milkshake?

The long and short of it is that we are over consuming. Eating too much is making us sick – think short term meat sweats and food comas, and long term chronic disease. So if we could all just settle down and be a little more conscious of what we’re eating and drinking, that’d be great, thanks.

P.S. I do like fun, and food, I promise. I’m just a little fed up.

Megashake Infographic