Boba Tea Causes Diabetes? Popular Asian Drink ‘Bubble Tea’ Is Pumping Sugar Into Body, Warn Researchers

Boba milk tea is not as healthy as many claim it to be. The insanely popular Boba milk tea or bubble tea, often touted for its health benefits, is responsible for pumping dangerous amounts of sugar into the body of its unsuspecting consumers, predisposing them to diabetes, warn researchers.

Boba milk tea is one of the silent contributors to the rising instances of diabetes, caution researchers. A new campaign is actively warning consumers of the immensely popular Asian drink that it is certainly not as healthy as it is promoted. A group of health advocates have launched the campaign, christened “Rethink Your Asian Drink,” to raise awareness about the unhealthy contents and the long-term health hazards associated with consuming Boba tea.

Experts claim Boba tea is as unhealthy as carbonated sodas that are almost always loaded with sugar, reported KABC. Boba milk tea was invented in Taiwan in the 1980s. However, its popularity surged in the United States and other parts of the world in the last 15 years. The combination of being affordable and great taste has made the concoction quite popular with people who consume it every single day, shared Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) program manager Scott Chan,

“Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, boba was very affordable. I had it every day.”

The recipe for Boba milk tea varies greatly; however, the basic ingredients remain the same. The primary ingredients to make bubble tea include milk, tea, and tapioca pearls. Incidentally, it is the tapioca pearls that lend the healthy ingredients to Boba tea. The component contains substantial amounts of essential minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, apart from a healthy mix of vitamins.

However, it is the unhealthy concentration of sugar that makes Boba tea dangerous for consumers in the long run. The concoction, also known as pearl milk tea, contains copious amounts of sugar, which isn’t healthy for the daily consumers, continued Chan,

“A 12-ounce serving of Boba tea contains almost 90 grams of sugar, 7 grams of fat and 490 calories. You don’t want that much sugar in your body every single day. It has a lot of different impacts on your health.”

What’s even more dangerous is the wide varieties of the tea vendors make often contain even more unhealthy ingredients. Some flavored Boba milk tea contains sugary syrups, which can contain higher amount of sugar than the plain version, reported Next Shark.

After analyzing multiple samples, the researchers reached the conclusion that Boba milk tea isn’t a healthy alternative and is perhaps responsible for the surging cases of diabetes, added Chan,

“1997 to 2011 here in L.A. County, there was a 68 percent increase in diabetes in our communities.”

It is predominantly the Asian communities that are active consumers of Boba milk tea. Incidentally, makers of bubble tea do not refute the findings and have always cautioned it is not a good choice for “people who are watching their weight or sugar intake.” Hidden in the wordings is the clear insinuation that the drink contains high amounts of sugar.

Should you stop drinking Boba milk tea completely? Researchers are merely cautioning people to drink the concoction in moderation and ask the drink maker to go easy on the sugar and artificial flavored syrups, opting instead for fruit purees.

ABC News reports Chef Nico de Leon from Lassa Restaurant in Chinatown has already created an alternative Boba drink to mimic the traditional components, without the harmful ingredients,

“In my alternative drink we did a black tea, carrot juice for the color and also add some sweetness, some almond milk instead of the dairy in there so it’s actually vegan, and then instead of Boba we used chia seeds.”

To ensure you derive health benefits of Boba milk tea, specifically ask for smaller portions with added instructions about lowering the amount of sugar, concluded Chan.

[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]