Brits admit calorie confusion in alcohol is a barrier to healthier lifestyles

Calories Twitter

85% of adults do not know how many calories there are in a glass of wine according to new research released today from Sainsbury’s. The study comes as the retailer launches calorie labelling on a selection of its new own-brand wines.

  • 85% do not know how many calories in a glass of wine 
  • 63% do not include the calories from wine when counting calories 
  • 2 in 3 would like to see calorie labelling on alcohol 
  • More than half of adults surveyed (58%) do not know what the government guidelines for daily alcohol consumption are 
  • Over 1 in 3 do try to control their alcohol in a bid to be healthier

The research shows that while an average of 74% of adults know what their recommended daily calorie intake is, less than half know what the guidelines for daily alcohol consumption (units) are.  

The findings show that the primary motivation for cutting down on drinking  is health related; of those surveyed, 62% say they limit their alcohol consumption in a bid to be healthier and nearly half (44%) reveal they proactively try to limit their drinking in an effort to manage their weight.  Yet only 25% of those surveyed consider the calories consumed from wine when counting their daily total intake.

The research further suggests that consumers rely on clear on-pack food labelling to get their nutritional information and two in three (66%) would like the same labelling standards to apply to alcohol packaging to make calorie information more transparent. This is in stark contrast to the fact that at present, only 15% know how many calories there are in a glass of wine.

Helen Buck, chair of Sainsbury’s Responsible Drinking Steering Group said: “It is clear from our research that shoppers are confused regarding the calories in alcohol.   We hope that by clearly displaying this information on the bottle, we’ll be able to help our customers to make responsible choices more easily.”

Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister said: “The use of calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks is a key way the industry can help support responsible drinking. Clear labelling has an important part to play in helping customers make healthier choices.

“Sainsbury’s are once again helping to lead the way in providing consumers with the information that they need to make informed choices. We welcome this move and urge others to follow suit. Through the public health Responsibility Deal, this government continues to work with businesses to give consumers more of the information they want and need on alcoholic drinks and other products.”

Sainsbury’s is introducing the labelling on 20 new bottles from its Winemakers’ Selection by Sainsbury’s  range and will continue rolling out calorie labelling throughout 2014 and 2015.




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About the article

  • Posted on: 20 February 2014
  • Type of article: Press release