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Would You Order This Extra-Extra-Large Soda?

The half-gallon soda cup: Ultimate show of American pride, or death through a straw? You decide.

| November 7th, 2012
Jeffery W. CarterKara Guy, pictured here, is, in fact, a normal-sized human being. Objects in photo are exactly as horrifying as they appear.
giant soda

So there I was on a recent fall evening, at a Roy Rogers off the New Jersey Turnpike. (Yes, even health and beauty website editors go to Roy Rogers sometimes.)  I had a long drive ahead of me and was perusing the offerings—rows of wrapped burgers enrobed in orange heat-lamp light—when I saw before me the biggest soda cup I’ve ever seen. It was at least the size of my head, with Coca Cola emblazoned in red across a field of white plastic and a handle that suggested pouring gasoline, not sipping a soft drink.

QUIZ: Find Your Eating Style

This mug-strosity, sold for $6.99 (filled!), holds 64 ounces of your chosen beverage. That’s half a gallon of soda. Topped off with regular Coke, we're talking about 800 calories and 216 grams of sugar. For comparison, that’s equivalent to:

  • A six-pack of Coke in glass bottles…plus two for good luck (you’ll need it!), or
  • The carbs in seven slices of coffee cake with crumb topping, or
  • About 60 sugar packets (one packet at a time is generally acceptable), or
  • The calories in a Roy Rogers cheeseburger with fries

This would give a heart attack to New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s leading the revolution against large sugary drinks just across the river from New Jersey. Indeed, drinking that much soda increases anyone’s chance of heart disease (and type-2 diabetes). And if you think sucking down a bucket of Diet Coke is any better, consider that research has tied sugarfree sodas to weight gain and cardiovascular problems.

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But there are benefits. I mean, it sure is a good deal. And you know you wouldn’t run out of soda before you reached your destination. (Though, personally, there’s no way I could drink that much without having to pull over again.) Um…did I already mention that it’s a good deal? Oh, yeah, and freedom! That’s what this country is all about. Right?

Indeed, you’re free to drink a half a gallon of soda if you want. As for me, this enormous cup is not what I want them to pry from my cold, dead hand.

MORE: Burger King Will End You! 

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