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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020
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Calorie labelling on alcohol could soon be mandatory

Is it a good or bad idea?

One of these could really up your daily calorie intake.
One of these could really up your daily calorie intake.

IT’S ALREADY COMMONPLACE on most foods, but calorie labelling could soon also be mandatory on alcohol.

Research conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) in the UK last month found that most people don’t know how many calories are in alcoholic drinks.

Some 80% of the 2,117 adults surveyed did not know or underestimated the number of calories in a large glass of wine, while six in ten did the same for a pint of lager.

The study also found that alcohol drinkers consume 400 fewer calories during a night out if their drinks have calorie labels.

The RSPH is now calling for the European Union Health Commissioner and drinks companies to introduce calorie labelling on all alcoholic products. It also wants more research to be carried out into the relationship between alcohol consumption and healthy weight in adults.

The European Commission is currently considering whether to make unit and calorie labels on alcohol compulsory, with a decision expected by December.

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone has called on Health Minister Leo Varadkar to ensure mandatory alcohol calorie labelling is included in the upcoming Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.

Noone noted that Ireland’s annual per capita consumption of alcohol is 11.7 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15 and over, “which equates to a bottle of vodka each every week”.

As the situation stands, there is little regulation around labelling of alcoholic beverages, and yet a bottle of water has to have its nutritional values detailed.

“The average adult who drinks alcohol gets about 10% of their calorie intake from alcohol. I believe that if such labels were introduced here they could help tackling Ireland’s soaring obesity problems and reduce levels of harmful drinking.”

Read: Video demonstrates just how much booze is actually in a standard Irish serving size

Read: Frenchman dies after drinking 56 shots in drinking competition

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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