invisible calories we swigAfter a hard day’s work, most of us like to kick our shoes off and relax in front of the TV with a glass or two of wine. It’s fair enough, we feel. What we didn’t know till now is the amount of calories we consume. You would be surprised to know that 2 glasses of wine equals 370 calories! That is about a fifth of the total calories we should be consuming. Most of the alcoholic drinks contain surprising large amounts of calories as shown by the graphic below.

Which is why the Royal Society for Public Health is calling for a change in the law of labelling for alcohol, according to a recent report on the Daily Mail. The Society wants to raise the awareness about ‘invisible calories’ in alcohol. Professor Fiona Sim, Chairman of the Royal Society, says that the trend of serving larger glasses of wine and other drinks with a high alcoholic content is greatly impeding the effort to control obesity. According to Dr. Sim, those of us who drink regularly roughly 10% of our daily calories come from alcohol.

In an article in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Sim writes that a survey carried out by the Royal Society on 2,117 people, found that four fifths of those surveyed were unaware of the calorific content of drinks served in pubs. However, most of them supported calorie labeling on alcohol.

Unlike in USA, where calorie labeling has been started by some drink manufacturers, and is compulsory on restaurant menus, in the UK, while calorie content must be mentioned on food packaging, alcoholic drinks containing more than 1.2% alcohol are exempt. As a consequence, very few people are aware of the amount of calories they are consuming with their daily pint or glass of alcohol.

Dr. Sim says that both alcohol content (in units) and energy content (in calories) should be included on drink labels and menus. This is of vital importance as it will take some time to measure the effect of such labeling on alcohol consumption. However you can watch the short video on the possible effect of such labeling.

So the next time you think of a glass of wine, think again!

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