Online Program

The Royal Society for Public Health Special Session - Fighting obesity: The campaign to include calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks

Monday, November 2, 2015: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The obesity epidemic is being tackled by local and national interventions designed to encourage a healthier balance between dietary calorie intake and physical activity. In adults, whilst the consumption of alcoholic beverages is widespread, the part played by alcohol in contributing to obesity has rarely been highlighted in strategies to tackle or prevent obesity. In the UK in late 2014, we decided to investigate the part played by alcohol in the obesity epidemic. We conducted a large online survey to ascertain people’s knowledge of the calorie value of alcoholic drinks and conducted a small scale experiment in a London pub to test our hypothesis that typical pub customers do not consider the calorie value of their drinks. The findings showed that most members of the public have no idea that alcoholic drinks contribute substantially to their daily or weekly calorie intake and that reducing their intake of calories from alcohol could help in efforts to maintain a healthy weight or to reduce excess weight. Our action research was part of our campaign to introduce calorie labelling on bottled and canned alcoholic drinks. The European Union is now considering this proposal. In the EU foodstuffs must, by law, display calorie information, but this has not, to date, applied to alcoholic drinks. It is our contention that labeling for calories, as well as for units of alcohol, will permit the consumer to make more informed and healthier choices about the food and drink they purchase.
Session Objectives: - To discuss the role of social drinking and the calories in alcoholic drinks in tackling the obesity epidemic. - Identify the calorie values of common alcoholic beverages and how they contribute to overall calorie intake in adults.


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Organized by: APHA
Endorsed by: Food and Nutrition

See more of: APHA