Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union.
Posted at 10:13 AM, Oct 31, 2014

Most of us have been probably been there — you've had a couple drinks and are sitting there deciding whether you should grab one more. But what if you knew the calorie count in that next pint of beer or glass of wine?

That's what the London-based Royal Society for Public Health is calling for in the European Union after performing a nationwide survey on whether people knew how many calories were in drinks.

RSPH: "I would guess it's about 100 calories for a pint."

"I would suggest around 250?"

"I would say about 350?"

The BBC received similar results in their own survey with folks sorting drinks and a doughnut in order of calories.

"I reckon that one first."

"Red wine, doughnut."

"The lager next."

"Probably that the lowest."

Turns out, people generally don't know how many calories are in their drinks. And that can lead to weight gain, according to the Royal Society for Public Health.

Comparing drinks to food, the health organization says one large glass of white wine equals about one slice of pizza at 180 calories. 

A pint of beer sits around 170 calories, or your average doughnut. 

And a pina colada? A whopping 450 calories, or the same as a McDonald's double cheeseburger. Yikes.

With alcohol itself not necessarily being a cause of weight gain, the society notes the relationship between obesity and alcohol is complex. It also says additives such as sugar need to be considered.

In an interview with The Telegraph, a British Beer & Pub Association spokeswoman said while they don't disagree with calorie labeling, space may be an issue.

BRIGID SIMMONDS VIA THE TELEGRAPH: "To be quite honest we're not against labeling on alcohol. ... The other real issue here is have you got room to put all these things on the back of a bottle?"

The European Commission will rule in December on whether to require mandatory calorie labeling on alcoholic beverages throughout the E.U. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and Randy Robertson / CC BY 2.0.