Chocolate bars can be more calorific than a McDonald’s burger, an eye-opening audit shows.
MailOnline assessed the nutritional content of almost 100 varieties, including ones made by Cadbury’s, Mars and Nestle.
Worst offenders contained nearly 380 calories.
For comparison, a cheeseburger sold by the fast-food giant has around 300.
Chocolate bars can also be packed with up to 10 teaspoons of sugar — three more than an adult’s entire recommended daily intake.
Campaigners warned the bars — often consumed in a meal deal alongside calorific sandwiches and fizzy drinks — contain ‘unnecessary’ amounts of sugar, which then is ‘deceivingly underplayed’ by manufacturers.
Extra large and due packs of chocolate are the most calorific, with the worst offending chocolate bars containing more than 370 calories in a packet
Experts have long-warned of the health risks of consistently eating too much sugar, as it can lead to weight gain and its consequential effects.
Our audit trawled through offerings at the UK’s most popular supermarkets, which vary in size from around 30g to 75g. The most calorie-packed tended to be some of the largest.
Twix Xtra White Chocolate Bar contains 376 calories — making it the most calorific.
It is closely followed by the milk chocolate and salted caramel varieties, which have 370 and 368, respectively.
By comparison, that figure is only slightly less than two original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts (390).
Cadbury’s Double Decker Duo (342), Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Duo (336) and Cadbury Wispa Gold Chocolate Duo (336) are also among the most calorie-packed.
SYMPTOMS OF TOOTH DECAY AND HOW TO PREVENT IT
Eating too much sugary food and drink can lead to tooth decay. It is important to see a dentist as soon as possible if you think your child has tooth decay.
It is caused by a build of a sticky layer of bacteria called plaque. Over time this damages the surface of your teeth.
- A hole forming in the tooth
- A sharp pain in your tooth when eating or drinking hot, cold or sweet things
- White, brown or black spots on your tooth
How to prevent it:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Use floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth every day
- Have regular dental check-ups
KitKat Chunky Duo (330), Cadbury’s Boost Duo (324), M&S Swiss Blond Chocolate (229) and Maltesers Kingsize (294) round off the top 10.
For context, the average woman is advised to consume around 2,000 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, while 2,500 is recommended for men.
Eating more calories than you burn will cause you to gain weight over time. Six in 10 adults and four in 10 children are overweight or obese, figures suggest.
But it’s not just the eye-watering calories chocolate fanatics need to watch out for — they are also packed with sugar.
Cadbury’s Double Decker Duo has 40g, equivalent to 10 teaspoons or three-and-a-half Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts (12g).
Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Duo (38.8g), the three Twix Xtra varieties (36g) and Cadbury Wispa Gold Duo (34g) are also among the most sugary.
Health chiefs recommend consuming no more than 30g of free sugars — those added to food or drinks — a day, as too much over time can cause tooth decay and weight gain.
Dr Kawther Hashem, campaign lead at Action on Sugar, said: ‘It will come as no surprise that chocolate bars contain sugars and calories.
‘However 10 teaspoons of sugar per packet, 3 teaspoons more than an adults daily maximum recommended intake, is unnecessary.’
She warned consumers may not realise how much calories and sugar they are consuming, as the figures are ‘deceivingly underplayed’ by companies which often print nutrition information per half pack.
‘Many are also sold as part of a meal deal, which could include a soft drink, adding more sugar into the eating occasion’, Dr Hashem said.
For example, pairing a KitKat Chunky Duo with Coca-Cola would mean a meal deal contains nearly 60g of sugar and 430 calories before even adding the main.
Dr Hashem wants to see food and drink companies reduce the sugar, salt, saturated fat and calories in their products.
She said: ‘Given two thirds of adults in the UK are now living with overweight and obesity, one in three suffering from dental decay, and the NHS under pressure, the Government must now put the nation’s health first.
‘This includes following through with price promotion restrictions of unhealthy food and introducing levies which have been successful at incentivising food companies to reduce the sugar, salt, saturated fat and calories in their products.
‘Doing so will create a much-needed level playing field for the food and drink industry and create better access to healthier food for all.’
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ‘world-leading’ obesity plan in 2020, partly inspired by how his own weight had put him at greater risk of becoming severely ill when he caught Covid.
However, his Government shied away from the more radical proposals put forward by then food tsar and Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, such as taxes on salt and sugar, after it was calculated that the proposals could add £60 to each person’s annual food bill.
Those proposals that did survive — a ban on buy one get one free deals on unhealthy snacks and junk food adverts before 9pm — have since been delayed until October 2025 by Rishi Sunak.
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain
• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide