Government announces consultation on calorie labelling for alcohol products

27 July 2020

A new consultation will be launched before the end of the year on plans to provide calorie labelling on alcohol products as part of the Government’s new Obesity Strategy.

Alcohol consumption has been estimated to account for nearly 10% of the calorie intake of those who drink, with around 3.4 million adults consuming an additional days’ worth of calories each week– totalling an additional two months of food each year. But research shows the majority of the public (80%) is unaware of the calorie content of common drinks and many typically underestimate the true content. It is hoped alcohol labelling could lead to a reduction in consumption, improving people’s health.

Following the Government’s announcement Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK said:

“The Government’s plans to consult on ending the current exemption for alcohol products from calorie labelling requirements are very welcome. When the calorie equivalent of a large glass of white wine is the same as a slice of pizza or a cocktail is the equivalent of a cheeseburger[1], it is clear why alcohol products should be included in the Government’s plans to tackle the obesity crisis.

“Alcohol is a factor in more than 200 health conditions and is the leading risk factor of death among 15-49 year olds in England. Labelling on all alcohol products with prominent health warnings, low risk drinking guidelines, information on ingredients, nutrition and calories would help equip the public with the knowledge they need to make healthier decisions about what and how much they drink. If we want to build a healthier, more resilient society we need to wake up to the harm alcohol does to people’s health.”

[1]RSPH Alcohol calorie labelling