Alcoholic drinks

So, What's in it?

By WLR Staff, by Pat Wilson

92% of respondents to the recent Alcohol Survey, launched by Weight Loss Resources, believe drinks manufacturers should provide full calorie details of their drinks on the bottles and cans they produce.

The Survey asked visitors to the site about their alcohol consumption, their knowledge of calories contained in alcoholic drinks and what further calorie and nutritional data they would like to see drinks manufacturers provide. In total, over 3,100 people completed the survey.

Key Findings

  • 74% of respondents said availability of calorie information on bottles and cans would affect their decision to buy them.
  • Furthermore, 75% of the respondents believe the calorie counts of alcoholic drinks should be visible and accessible in pubs and restaurants.
  • 40% of respondents said they already estimated the calorie counts of the alcohol they drank.
  • Nearly 30% of respondents said their choice of alcoholic beverage is influenced by estimations of the calorie content.
  • More than 40% of respondents said they drink alcohol daily or several times a week.
  • On average each respondent drinks 3.33 glasses of wine, 3.79 shots of spirits, 0.85 bottles of alcopops, and more than 5 pints of beer per week.

Commenting on the findings, dietitian Juliette Kellow, BSc RD said:

‘In an age where most foods and drinks provide nutrition information on their packaging, alcohol has been left behind. More and more people, especially young adults are drinking large amounts of alcohol, yet they have no idea about the number of calories or alcohol units they are consuming. There’s no reason why alcohol manufacturers couldn’t start labelling their products with nutrition information. This would be particularly useful on flavoured alcoholic beverages and bottled or canned beers, lagers or ciders.’

Weight Loss Resources has since its launch in January 2001, endeavoured to obtain data on alcoholic beverages available. We have found it frustratingly difficult to find accurate and reliable data. Many drinks manufacturers have ignored requests, relayed that the data is unknown or stated it is simply not available.

Due to the overwhelming responses to the survey, is launching a campaign to urge drinks manufacturers to clearly display the calorie counts of their beverages on their bottles and cans.

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