31/10/2014

Call For Calorie Labelling On Alcoholic Drinks

There has been a call for alcoholic drinks to contain calorie information, after new research shows the vast majority of people are unaware a glass of wine has the same calories as a doughnut.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is calling on the drinks industry and newly appointed EU Health Commissioner to introduce calorie labelling for alcoholic drinks.

The European Commission has publicly committed to make a decision by December 2014 on increasing the nutrition labelling that is displayed on alcoholic products.

Alcoholic beverages are currently not recognised as food and do not require the same labeling as normal foods.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH said: "Calorie labelling has been successfully introduced for a wide range of food products and there is now a clear public appetite for this information to be extended to alcohol to help individuals make informed choices. With two in three adults overweight or obese and given that adults who drink get approximately 10% of their calories from alcohol, this move could make a major difference to waistlines of the nation."

RSPH research found that 67% of people actively support the addition of calorie labels on packaging of alcohol drinks, while over 80% did not know or incorrectly estimated the calorie content of a large glass of wine.

Almost 90% did not know or incorrectly estimated the calories in a pint of lager.

Ms Cramer said: "While we continue to back unit labelling for alcoholic drinks, we believe that many people find calorie labelling easier to translate into their everyday lives. We know that the EU Commission is due to publish it’s findings on extending nutritional labelling to alcohol in December and would be extremely surprised if they didn’t back this measure to improve the public’s health."

(IT/MH)

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