Extra Gulp

Counter to Anti-Obesity Efforts,
New Cup Tops Stomach Capacity

As the damaging effects of overeating and excessive calorie intake become a well established scientific fact, it’s always reassuring to see corporations big and small getting behind healthy nationwide initiatives to address the problem.
Not Starbucks, though. Once identified with Seattle’s grunge culture, alongside Nirvana and those infamous plaid flannel shirts, the company has a new entry in the debate over obesity in the U.S.: Trenta, a super-sized beverage cup with a whooping 31 ounces (916ml) capacity.
Starbucks’s apparently very thirsty consumer base in 14 states across the south will be the first to be able to order sweet drinks in a cup that beats the average capacity of the human stomach, as the diagram shows. It’ll be ready to burst the essential organ of all other state residents in May.
The cup joins a long tradition of corporate insensibility about their products’ adverse effects on customers. Eating and drinking beyond the body’s needs has already brought us the super whooper and the “grande” size of fries. And you thought the world would be safer without cigarettes.
But despite the popularity of TV shows about sorry fellow citizens who can’t avoid that fourth pint of ice cream before noon, and the efforts by the First Lady and notable chefs and talk show hosts to have us give the issue at least a thought or two, before chowing down another cookie, we’re not quite there yet.
It may be because Starbucks seems to be thinking that we’re all, apparently, very thirsty too. Though the cup is designed to deliver iced drinks, which means that you may not be getting its full capacity (or be in any immediate danger of bursting your digestive system), we eat and drink with our eyes, too.
Thus we don’t mind waiting on line to get the biggest possible cup of coffee, one that feels as heavy as a small animal. The weight reference is useful when you’re, for example, in a dark movie theater and can’t really admire how big it is. By the way, would it fit in those round slots for drinks on your seat?
Now, why would you miss any of the endless “coming attractions” to admire the size of your drink cup in the dark is something that may verge on some pathology. As it is our unfounded belief that what’s bigger is better. Apparently, it’s all connected. By the way, would you like a side of fries with that?

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