Huge audit reveals Britain’s biscuits can be more calorific than a cheeseburger

Plain, chocolate-coated or dotted with dried fruit. While picking a biscuit based on preference may seem to be the obvious approach, your choice could have more calories than a McDonald’s Cheeseburger.

That’s according to a huge MailOnline audit for National Biscuit Day.

It reveals that Britain’s most-loved sweet treats can contain more than 300 calories, or one-and-a-half Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts.

The worst offender, with a whopping 338 calories, is sold by Sainsbury’s.

Its Taste the Difference Belgian Milk Chocolate Cookies contain a sixth of a woman’s recommended daily allowance (2,000) and a seven of a man’s (2,500).

The cookie is also more calorific than a McDonald’s Cheeseburger (298) and Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut (195).

The supermarket’s Taste the Difference Belgian Chocolate Shortbread (334) and Salted Caramel and Belgian Milk Chocolate Cookies (319) are the next-most calorific biscuits, according to this website’s analysis of nearly 300 options.

It means these indulgent buttery biscuits contain more calories than two small portions of KFC Popcorn Chicken (135).

Cadbury’s Roundie Milk Chocolate Biscuit (160) is also among the most calorific when cookies are excluded, as is Border’s Dark Chocolate Orange Biscuits (126) and Sainsbury’s Maple and Pecan Shortbread Rounds (117).

At the other end of the scale, a Sainsbury’s Mini Scottie Dog Shortbread has just 15 calories, while the supermarket’s Almond Thins have just 19 calories.

The nutritional information is correct as of May 2023. Some items and values may vary due to supermarket website updates and stock rotations.

Hannah Whittaker, a registered dietician in Liverpool, said the size of biscuits can deceive people into thinking they are consuming less calories than they actually are.

She told MailOnline: ‘The constant exposure to biscuits can create a habit of reaching for them without consciously considering their nutritional value or the potential consequences of excessive consumption.’

Biscuits are ultra-processed foods, meaning they are made from ingredients not found in a typical kitchen, such as artificial colours and flavours, Ms Whittaker noted.

Consuming too many ultra-processed foods has been linked to an increased risk obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, she said.

The sweet treats tend to be high in sugar and saturated fat.

What should a balanced diet look like?

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.

Eating too much sugar over time raises the risk of weight gain and tooth decay, while a diet high in saturated fat can raise cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Dr Semiya Aziz, a London-based GP working in NHS and private practices, warned that excessive calorie intake, especially from high-fat and high-sugar foods, can harm digestive health.

‘Problems such as indigestion, bloating, constipation, and gastrointestinal disorders are commonly seen,’ she told MailOnline.

Regularly eating too many biscuits could also lead to obesity and in turn increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and joint issues, Dr Aziz added.

Nearly two-thirds of people in England are too big, with 38 per cent being overweight, while 26 per cent are obese. One third of Americans are overweight, while four in 10 are obese.

Former Health Minister Lord Bethell this month criticised the Government for failing to tackle Britain’s spiralling obesity crisis.

This came on the back of a landmark study which showed that a person of a healthy weight costs the NHS £638 per year, while those who are severely obese cost £1,375.

It suggests the NHS could save £14billion annually if people kept a healthy weight.

Commenting on the findings on Twitter, Lord Bethell wrote: ‘Squandering significant taxpayer funds and human potential is un-Conservative.

‘Govt should promote #HealthyBritain instead of defending vested interests.’

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: ‘We offer a range of cookies and biscuits. Our Taste the Difference range contains all butter and Belgian chocolate which we advise consuming occasionally as a treat.’

A Mondelez International Spokesperson commented: ‘Cadbury Roundie carries the BeTreatwise initiative on the pack, which is an industry programme aimed at helping consumers take a balanced approach to treats.

‘Cadbury Roundie is intended as an occasional treat and clearly labelled with guidance on an appropriate serving that can be consumed as part of a healthy diet.

‘We are committed to providing clear and accurate calorie and nutritional information on the front of our packs to enable consumers to make an informed choice about the foods they eat.’

MailOnline has contacted Border Biscuits for a comment.

How calorific is YOUR favourite biscuit? 
Name Calories
Sainsbury’ss Belgian Milk Chocolate Cookies, Taste the Difference 338
Sainsbury’s Chunky Belgian Chocolate Shortbread Taste Difference 334
Sainsbury’ss Salted Caramel & Belgian Milk Chocolate Cookies, Taste the Difference 319
Cadbury Dairy Milk Cookies with Chocolates Chunks 217
Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Cookies with Chocolate Chunks & Caramel Pieces 215
Sainsbury’s Milk Chocolate Cookies 197
Sainsbury’s Double Chocolate Cookies 190
Sainsbury’s Rolo Cookies 189
Sainsbury’s Oatmeal & Raisin Cookies 181
Cadbury Roundie Milk Chocolate Biscuits 160
Twix Chocolate & Caramel Cookies 145
Fox’s Indulgent Centre Cookie Triple Chocolate Biscuit 136
Fox’s Fabulous Indulgent Centre Cookies Chocolate Orange 136
Fox’s Fabulous Indulgent Centre Cookies Triple Chocolate 136
Cadbury Crunchy Melts Oreo Creme Chocolate Cookies 134
Cadbury Crunchy Melts Chocolate Centre Chocolate Chip Cookies 133
ASDA Extra Special Belgian Double Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies 129
Sainsbury’s Quadruple Chocolate Cookies, Taste the Difference 127
Border Dark Chocolate Orange Biscuits 126
Sainsbury’s Dark Chocolate & Ginger Cookies, Taste the Difference 126
Fox’s Biscuits Half Coated Milk Chocolate Cookies 125
ASDA Extra Special Triple Chocolate Cookies 123
Tesco Finest Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies 123
ASDA Extra Special Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies 122
Maryland Triple Choc Cookies 121
ASDA Extra Special All-Butter Sicilian Orange & Dark Chocolate Cookies 121
ASDA Extra Special Salted Caramel Cookies 120
Sainsbury’s Maple & Pecan Shortbread Rounds, Taste the Difference 117
ASDA Chunky Fruity Flapjack Cookies 117
Border Six Dark Chocolate Ginger Biscuits 116
Sainsbury’s Blonde Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, Taste the Difference 115
Fox’s Biscuits Chunkie Triple Chocolate Cookies 115
Lu Petit Biscotte Cinnamon Biscuit 115
ASDA Extra Special Stem Ginger Cookies 115
Sainsbury’s Demerera Shortbread Rounds, Taste the Difference 114
Sainsbury’s Belgian Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, Taste the Difference 113
Galaxy Chocolate Chunk Cookies 113
Fox’s Biscuits Limited Edition Millionaire’s Cookies 113
Fox’s Biscuits Milk Chocolate Cookies 113
ASDA Extra Special All-Butter Shortbread Rounds 108
Sainsbury’s Highland All Butter Shortbread Finger Biscuits 105
Oreo Original Vanilla Chocolate Sandwich Biscuit 105
Sainsbury’s Chocolate Chunk & Hazelnut Cookies, Taste the Difference 104
Kit Kat 2 Finger Milk Chocolate Biscuits Pack 104
Sainsbury’s Highland Shortbread Finger, Taste the Difference 103
Cadbury Oreo Cadbury Coated Biscuit 103
Fox’s Rocky Chocolate 103
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Crunchy Mint Biscuits 101.5
McVitie’s Digestives Biscuits the Fully Coated One in Milk Chocolate 101
Sainsbury’s Ginger Shortbread Finger Biscuits, Taste the Difference 100
McVitie’s Hobnobs Biscuits the Fully Coated One in Milk Chocolate 100
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies 99
Sainsbury’s Oat & Sultana Cookies 99
Breakaway Milk Chocolate Biscuit 99
Maryland Cookies Chocolate Chip Minis 99
Fox’s Rocky Caramel 98
Sainsbury’s White Chocolate Chunk Cookie 98
Maryland Cookies Double Chocolate 98
Maryland Cookies Chocolate Chip 97
Sainsbury’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies 97
Cadbury Animals With Freddo 97
Sainsbury’s Salted Caramel & Milk Chocolate Cookies, Taste the Difference 96
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Shortbread 95
Sainsbury’s Shortbread Assortment, Taste the Difference 95
Tesco Free From Shortbread 95
Tesco Finest Free From Triple Chocolate Cookies 95
Taste the Difference Free From Triple Chocolate Cookies 95
ASDA Extra Special Free From Belgian Triple Chocolate Cookies 95
Mcvitie’s Gold Biscuit Bars 95
Maryland Caramel Crisp Mini Cookies 95
ASDA Vegan Lemon Shortbread Cookies 94
ASDA Free From Oaty Cookies 94
Fox’s Biscuits Viennese Milk Chocolate Dipped Fingers 94
McVitie’s Iced Gems Chocolate Multipack Biscuits 94
Sainsbury’s Stem Ginger Cookies, Taste the Difference 94
McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Hobnob Biscuits 93
McVitie’s Hobnobs Milk Chocolate Biscuits 93
Tesco All Butter Shortbread Fingers 92
ASDA Extra Special Free From Belgian Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies 92
McVitie’s Hobnobs Coconut Macaroon Flavour 92
McVitie’s Chocolate Hobnob’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Flavour Biscuits 92
ASDA Extra Special Free From Raspberry & Belgian White Chocolate Cookies 92
Taste the Difference Free From Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies 92
ASDA Extra Special Free From Belgian Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies 92
Mcvitie’s Iced Gems Biscuits 92
ASDA Chunky Peanut Cookies 91
ASDA Shortbread Fingers 91
ASDA Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies biscuits 91
Tesco Finest Free From Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies 91
Fox’s Mini Party Rings 91
ASDA Chunky Rainbow Cookies 90
ASDA Free From Cookies & Cream Biscuits 90
Choccie Dodgers Biscuits 90
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Cookies & Cream Biscuits 90
Sainsbury’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cookie 90
ASDA Free From Stem Ginger Cookies 90
Tesco Free From Stem Ginger Cookie 90
Tesco Free From Cookies & Cream Biscuits 89
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Ginger Crunch Cookies 89
Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey White Chocolate Rounds 87
Tesco Dark Chocolate Digestives 87
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Oat & Sultana Cookies 87
Jammie Dodger Minis 87
Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey Orange Rounds 86
Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey Milk Chocolate Rounds 86
Border Golden Oat Crumbles 86
Border Dark Chocolate Gingers 86
Border Milk Chocolate Oat Crumbles 86
Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey Salted Caramel Rounds 85
Fox’s Biscuits Limited Edition Chocolatey Cappuccino Rounds 85
Gullón Zeroh! Sugar Free Choc Chip Cookies 85
Tesco Milk Chocolate Digestive 85
ASDA Free From Chocolate Digestives Biscuits 84
Tesco Chocolate Oaties Biscuits 84
McVitie’s BN Chocolate Flavour Biscuits 84
McVitie’s BN Vanilla Flavour Biscuits 84
Border Biscuits Lemon Drizzle Melts 83
Border Beautifully Crafted Biscuits Lemon Drizzle Melts 83
Mcvities Dark Chocolate Digestive 83
Mcvities Milk Chocolate Digestive 83
Ms Molly’s Chocolate Digestives Biscuits 83
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Plain Digestives 82
Border Dark Chocolate Gingers 82
Galaxy Milk Chocolate Digestives 82
ASDA Milk Chocolate Digestives 82
Tesco Free From Chocolate Digestives 81
ASDA Free From Milk Chocolate Viennese Fingers 80
Mcvities Caramel Digestive Biscuits 80
Sainsbury’s Chocolate Chip Cookies 79
Tesco Chocolate Chip Digestive Biscuits 78
Jammie Dodger Apple & Blackcurrant Biscuits 78
Jammie Dodger Raspberry Biscuits 78
Fox’s Jam Sandwich Cream Biscuit 77
Fox’s Salted Caramel Crunch Cream Biscuits 76
Fox’s Golden Crunch Creams Biscuit 75.3
Tesco Milk Chocolate Viennese Fingers 75
Paterson’s Shortbread Fingers 75
Paterson’s Clotted Cream Shortbread Fingers 75
Elizabeth Shaw Milk Chocolate, Coconut & Hazelnut Biscuits 75
Elizabeth Shaw Milk Chocolate & Salted Caramel Biscuits 75
Fox’s Ginger Crunch Creams Biscuits 75
Fox’s Golden Crunch Cream Biscuit 75
Elizabeth Shaw Milk Chocolate, Raisin & Hazelnut Biscuits 74
ASDA Jam & Creams Biscuits 74
Jammie Dodgers Jam 74
Lyons Viscount Mint Chocolate Biscuit 73.5
Tesco Dark Chocolate Butter Biscuits 72
McVitie’s Blissfuls Belgian Milk Chocolate & Caramel Biscuits 72
Tesco Jam Sandwich Creams Biscuit 72
McVitie’s Hobnobs The Oaty One 72
ASDA Dark Chocolate Butter Biscuits 71
ASDA Milk Chocolate Butter Biscuits 71
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz White Biscuits 71
McVitie’s Blissfuls Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscuit 71
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz White Chocolate Biscuits 71
Tesco Milk Chocolate Butter Biscuits 71
Border Golden Oat Crumbles 71
Nutella Biscuits Chocolate & Hazelnut Pouch 71
Nutella Biscuits Tube Biscuits 71
Oreo Double Stuff Biscuits 71
McVitie’s Digestives The Original 71
Sainsbury’s Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuits 71
ASDA Free From Bourbon Biscuits 71
Lovett’s Digestive Biscuits 71
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate Biscuits 70.5
Bahlsen Dark Choco Leibniz 70
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Orange Chocolate Biscuits 70
Oreo Twists Vanilla & Caramel Flavoured Biscuit 70
Oreo Twists Vanilla & Raspberry Flavoured Biscuit 70
Tesco Oaty Rounds Biscuits 70
Sainsbury’s Oaty Biscuits 70
ASDA Digestive Biscuits 70
Fox’s Favourites Crinkle Crunch Milk Chocolate 70
Fox’s Biscuits Viennese Milk Chocolate Dipped Fingers 69
McVitie’s Hobnobs Vanilla Creams 68
Ms Molly’s Digestive 68
Tesco Bourbon Creams Biscuits 68
McVitie’s Tasties Bourbon Creams Biscuits 68
ASDA Bourbon Biscuits 68
McVitie’s Digestives the Light One 68
McVitie’s Rich Tea Lights Biscuits 68
ASDA Chocolate Orange Flavour Bourbon 66
Rhythm 108 Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Praline Biscuit Share Bag 65.5
Tesco Shorties Biscuits 65
Tesco Free From Custard Creams 65
McVitie’s Fig Roll 65
Foxs Chocolate Chocolate Viennese 64
Schar Digestive Choc 64
Sainsbury’s Bourbon Cream Biscuits 63
ASDA Free From Lemon Creams Biscuits 63
LU Le Petit Chocolat Biscuits 62
Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Mini Cookies 62
Maliban Lemon Puff with Lemon Cream Biscuit 61.6
Gullon Zeroh! Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Digestives 61
Sainsbury’s Soft Amaretti, Taste the Difference 60.5
Schar Gluten Free Custard Creams 60
Siro Sugar Free Digestive Biscuits 60
McVitie’s Tasties Custard Creams Biscuits 59
Tesco Free From Chocolate Chip Cookie Dairy Free 59
Tesco Custard Cream Biscuits 59
Sainsbury’s Strawberries & Cream Custard Creams 59
Sainsbury’s All Butter Shortbread Petticoat Tails 58
Schar Gluten-Free Choco Chip Cookies 58
ASDA Custard Creams 58
Tesco Shortbread Petticoat Tails 57
Tesco Chocolate Malted Milk Biscuits 57
ASDA Chocolate Malted Milks 57
Gullon Zeroh! Sugar Free Digestive Biscuits 57
ASDA Free From Digestive Biscuits 56
Sainsbury’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Biscuits 56
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Plain Digestives 55
Lu Le Petit Ganache Choco Hazelnut 54
Oreo Brownie Batter Sandwich Biscuit 54
Tesco Shortcake Biscuits 53
Oreo Golden Biscuits 53
Oreo Birthday Party Sandwich Biscuits 53
LU Le Petit Ganache 52
Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Biscoff Cream 52
Maryland Cookies Sugar Free Chocolate Chip 52
Oreo Brownie Batter Sandwich Biscuit 52
Oreo Original Biscuits 52
ASDA Cookies & Cream Biscuits 52
Cadbury Snack Shortcake Chocolate Biscuit 51
Maryland Ooh How Jammie Cookies 50.5
Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Milk Chocolate Cream 50
Sainsbury’s Dark Chocolate Ginger Thins, Taste the Difference 50
Border Biscuits Buttery Sultana Melts 50
Nairn’s Gluten Free Oaties Chocolate Chip Biscuits 49
Maryland Double Choc Cookies 49
Nairn’s Gluten Free Oaties 48
Nairn’s Salted Caramel Oat Biscuits 48
Nairns Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Biscuits 48
Nairn’s Chocolate Biscuit Breaks 48
Sainsbury’s Shorties 48
Maryland Cookies Keep Caramelised & Carry On 48
Mcvities Ginger Nuts 47
Tesco Viennese Half Coated Swirl 46
Nairn’s Biscuit Break Oat & Fruit 46
Border Old Fashioned Ginger Crunch 46
Tesco Ginger Nuts 46
ASDA Ginger Nuts Biscuits 46
Border Biscuits Butterscotch 46
Mcvitie’s Jaffa Cakes Cherry Flavoured Biscuits 46
Nairn’s Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Biscuit 45
Sainsbury’s Malted Milk Biscuits 44
Nairns Stem Ginger Oat Biscuits 44
Nairn’s Wheat Free, Ginger Biscuits 44
Maryland Cookies Sugar Free Chocolate Chip 44
Milky Way Biscuits 44
Tesco Malted Milk Biscuits 43
ASDA Malted Milk 43
Tesco Rich Tea Biscuit 43
Tesco Nice Biscuits 41
Tesco Garibaldi Biscuits 41
Lu Petit Beurre Salted Butter Biscuit 40
LU Le Petit Beurre Biscuits 40
ASDA Garibaldi Biscuits 40
Tesco Reduced Fat Rich Tea Biscuits 40
Sainsbury’s Nice Biscuits 39
Bakery Delights Crispbakes 39
McVitie’s Fruit Shortcake Biscuits 38
Tesco Fruit Shortcake Biscuits 38
Lotus Biscoff Caramelised Biscuits 38
Lotus Biscoff Biscuits 38
Mcvities Light Rich Tea 38
Mcvitie’s Rich Tea Biscuits 38
Sainsbury’s Garibaldi Biscuits 38
Lotus Biscoff Snack Pack 37
Tesco Viennese Swirl Carton 36
McVitie’s Tartlets Chocolate Flavour Biscuits 36
Sainsbury’s Rich Tea Biscuits 35
ASDA Rich Tea Biscuits 35
McVitie’s Mini BN Chocolate Biscuits 34
McVitie’s Thin Arrowroot 34
Schar Rich Tea Biscuits 31
Schar Gluten Free Rich Tea Biscuits 31
ASDA Free From Digestive Biscuits 31
McVitie’s Mini BN Strawberry Biscuits 30
Fox’s Biscuits Party Rings 28
Sainsbury’s Mini Chocolate Cookies 23
Tesco Rich Tea Finger Biscuits 23
Doria Amaretti 21
Bahlsen Butter Leaves Shortcake Thins Buttery Biscuit 21
Sainsbury’s Almond Thins, Taste the Difference 19
Sainsbury’s Mini Scottie Dog Shortbread 15

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