A large scone can equate to a third of recommended daily calories, a survey showed.
Some contain a whopping 740 calories and are the equivalent of 10 sugar cubes.
In 2018, Northern Ireland’s 11 district councils sampled a variety of plain, luxury and fruit scones from local coffee shops and cafes across the country.
The scone with the highest fat content (22.7g fat) was a raspberry and white chocolate luxury scone, while the largest, a fruit scone, contained in the region of 750kcal and 39.2g of sugar, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said.
Currently, 64% of adults and 27% of children aged 2-15 in Northern Ireland are classified as overweight or obese.
Fionnuala Close, senior dietary health adviser at the FSA in Northern Ireland, said: “Typically, our diets contain too much sugar, saturated fat and salt yet, at the same time, we’re not consuming enough fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods.
“As scones tend to be a regular favourite for many across Northern Ireland, we felt it was important to raise awareness that this common snack can contain a greater number of calories than consumers may think.
“The availability of choice, in terms of ingredients and scone size, is an important consideration for consumers and producers alike.”
Other key findings in the report include:
– The range of calories varied widely from 154kcal to 756kcal.
– The portion sizes of scones ranged from 44g to 233g.
– The average scone provided 20g of sugar, which is the equivalent of five sugar cubes.
– The range of sugar per scone varied between 3.1g to 39.2g, with fruit scones generally providing higher sugar levels.