Should we be more aware of the calories in alcohol?

By Matt Bernard

Should we be more aware of the calories in alcohol?
We should all know just how much alcohol is fueling the obesity epidemic, say public health experts.

Experts are calling for there to be greater labeling of calorie contents in alcohol.

Just one large class of wine can contain up to 200 calories – roughly the same of that as a 500 mL of Coca-Cola. Drunk in large doses, alcohol can have severe consequences – not just on your wallet, but waistline also.

“I don’t think they think about it, we go out at lunchtime and look at the sandwiches on display. We know and understand what labeling means. We pick the sandwich or salad on the basis of the calories. But people don’t think about that when they go out on a Friday night,” told Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

Polling over 2000 participants, the RSPH found that fewer than 20% of people were able to correctly estimate the calorie content in a large glass of wine, and 40% in a pint of lager.

While undeniably worrying to some, the call for action has been largely well-received by the public, with nearly 70% of those polled thinking the information needs to be made known.

Beyond simply labeling the products, the RSPH thinks that there needs to be a sense of warning alongside the bottle to highlight the importance of the issue. “The public’s health is under threat from an obesity epidemic and harm caused by irresponsible consumption of alcohol,” they said in their position paper.

It is however not just the calorie content in alcohol which can lead to this weight gain, as alcohol interferes with the body’s regulatory hormones which control appetite – leading heavy drinks to eat more.

While we should all be allowed to unwind with a glass of wine on occasion, it is important to be aware of just what we are consuming and the effects it has on us.

What do you think; do you support greater labeling on alcohol bottles? Or would you rather not know? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.


Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe. 

Member Login