Calorie Labels: Alcohol Consumption Goes Down When Drinkers Are Aware Of Calorie Content

Calorie labels on alcohol could cause the typical drinker to consume less alcohol. A series of experiments showed that drinkers actually imbibe less alcohol when they are made aware of the caloric content via nutritional labels. At pubs where the alcoholic beverages bore the calorie count of the drink, consumers lowered their caloric intake by 400 calories, according to a report by the Telegraph.

Yahoo! News pointed out that four pints of beer consumed during a night on the town could contain as many calories as 2.5 burgers. In order to burn off those calories, the drinker would have to run for 73 minutes, which would be a difficult feat for someone who had just consumed four pints of beer. A pina colada or a cheeseburger, at 450 calories, would require 90 minutes of cycling to work off.

The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) conducted the experiments as they looked for ways to trim expanding waistlines in Great Britain and lessen problem drinking. RSPH discovered that many consumers fail to realize an alcoholic beverage could be as calorie laden as a doughnut or other sweet treat. Of 2,000 surveyed by the RSPH, 80 percent were unable to accurately estimate how many calories were contained in an adult beverage, said RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer who favors the proposed labels.

“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.”

Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum is in favor of the alcohol calorie labels. In addition, two-thirds of people polled favored adding calorie labels to alcohol.

“A calorie-count on wine and beer bottles can’t come soon enough.”

The European Commission will make a decision by December 2014 on whether to mandate alcohol calorie labels.

The Inquisitr previously reported that mandatory calorie labels on alcohol were a possibility in the United States.

“In 2007, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau proposed a labeling rule that would require alcoholic beverage manufacturers to include calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein content on product labels. However, the rule has yet to be implemented by force. For now, manufacturers have been encouraged to do so.”

What do you think? Have you ever observed bar patrons agonizing over their calorie intake on a Saturday night? Would alcohol calorie labels deter you from drinking? Comments are welcome.

[Image of calorie labels alcohol via morgueFile]