The Greggs diet: is a ring doughnut much healthier than a jam one?

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There has been ridicule after the bakery chain’s chief executive came up with a new healthy-eating nudge. But he’s right about the maths

At a recent childhood obesity conference, Roger Whiteside, the chief executive of Greggs, pointed out that ring doughnuts “are between 200 and 300 calories; the ball doughnuts are between 300 and 400 calories”. In lieu of a dream “diet” doughnut, Greggs has a different tactic to encourage healthier consumer choices. Its lower-calorie doughnut is simply a ring version that it will display more prominently than the heftier custard, jam or chocolate doughnuts.

The Greggs website clarifies his figures. A 245-calorie Greggs jam doughnut has 12g of sugar and 10g of fat. Its glazed ring doughnut has more sugar – at 13g, thanks to the glaze – but marginally fewer calories, at 191, because it is smaller. It compares better with the triple chocolate doughnut, which weighs in at 341 calories and 29g of sugar. Don’t be fooled by Greggs’ ring doughnut dripping in icing and sugar strands – coming in at 263 calories, it has more than twice as much sugar as the jam version.

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