Forget Units, Doctors Want Calorie Counts on Booze Bottles

By Gerald Lynch on at

Do you wash down a slice of pizza with a pint of beer on a night out? Well, you might as well have another slice -- both contain a similar amount of calories, around 180.

Yep, booze may be working just as hard to add a few extra inches to your waistline as junk food, and now doctors are pushing to have that reflected on the labelling of alcoholic drinks. The Royal Society for Public Health is making a case for having calorie counts displayed just as prominently as unit numbers, in the hopes of bringing down the growing levels of obesity in the UK.

The society's doctors point out that a large glass of wine has the same amount of calories as a doughnut, while you may as well have a Big Mac if you're planning on knocking back four pints. The RSPH believes that as many as 80 per cent of adult drinkers have no idea of the calorie count of the alcoholic beverages they're lapping up, and that the average adult drinker makes up 10 per cent of their recommended calorie intake from booze alone. Its research also found that, when alcoholic bottles had calorie counts on the label, drinkers consumed 400 less calories on average in a drinking session.

While drinks manufacturers are said to be in support of the initiative, The Portman Group which represents many booze peddlers has stated that it remains firm in its belief that alcohol content is the most important stat that should have prominence on a drink's packaging. [Sky News]