Saturday, November 1, 2014

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour - Calorie Count should be on Alcoholic Drink Labels.

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour
Calorie Count should be on Alcoholic Drink Labels.

The BBC have reported on the call for alcohol to have a calorie content label in order to reduce obesity, according to public health doctors.  Doctors warn that a large glass of wine can contain around 200 calories - the same as a sugar covered doughnut.
Yet the Royal Society for Public Health says the vast majority of people are blissfully unaware of this fact.  Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said "great strides" had been made with labelling food, and that the government would be looking at the issue.
The drinks industry said it was open to the idea of calorie labels, but that labelling drinks with units of alcohol was more important.  The UK is one of the most obese nations in the world with about a quarter of adults classed as obese.  Food already comes with calorie information, but alcohol is exempt from EU food labelling laws.  And the European Commission is considering whether drinks should also carry such information.
Research by the Royal Society for Public Health suggested the measure would be popular with British drinkers.
The RSPH's chief executive, Shirley Cramer, told the BBC: " 80% of adults have no idea what the calorie count is in anything they're drinking and if they do think they have an idea they totally underestimate it anyway. It could help the nation's waistlines as well as probably reduce alcohol consumption."
In a small pub experiment conducted by the society, people who were told the calories content of their drink consumed 400 fewer calories in a session.
According to Royal Society for Public Health, Drinkaware, typically
  • A large 250ml glass of 8% wine is 170 calories
  • The same amount of 14% wine is 230 calories
  • A 275ml alcopop can be 170 calories
  • A pint of 4% beer is more than 180 calories
  • Four pints on a night out equates of two-and-a-half burgers or 73 minutes of running
  • In comparison a sugary doughnut comes in around 200 calories
The BBC interviewed Brendan O'Donnell who said that cutting down on alcohol helped him lose more than 11 stone. Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said the government had been dragging its feet on the issue.
"A calorie-count on wine and beer bottles can't come soon enough. Just one premium lager by itself contains enough calories for a small meal and, added to the meal itself, eats up a chunk of anyone's maximum allowance."

Amanda Thomas
UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour
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