Calls for calories to be clearly marked on all alcoholic drink labels were backed in a vote at the European Parliament

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Image: MEPs call to add calorie labels to booze

Photo: Thor / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: geishaboy500

Calorie counts are set to be marked on alcohol

Sipping on that glass of vino could be costing you in calories – as well as giving you a sore head the next morning.


While we might be blissfully unaware of the calorific value of our favourite tipples (yes, a glass of wine has the same calories as a Cadbury's flake), this willing ignorance is all about to change.


In a vote at the European Parliament, MEPs have backed plans for an overhaul on booze labelling. Calorie counts could be clearly marked on wine, beer and spirit bottles, allowing drinkers to see how that snifter will affect their waistline.


However, the MEPs’ vote is not binding and it could take a while before the proposals become law.


They also called for the new Alcohol Strategy plan to include "the collection of 'reliable scientific data' to improve the prevention and treatment of alcohol-related harm."


Glenis Willmott, MEP for the east Midlands, told the BBC: “Europe is still the heaviest-drinking region in the world, but many people don’t realise that a large glass of wine contains the same number of calories as a slice of cake.

“In order to reduce the burden of alcohol-related harm, we must make sure people are given clear information to enable them to make informed choices.”


This news comes amid fears from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) that, as a nation, we consume hundreds of “invisible calories”, with an estimated 10% of our daily calorie intake coming from alcohol.

In the medical journal, The BMJ, Fiona Sim chairwoman of the RSPH wrote: “Information provided to consumers must be honest and useful. There is no reason why calories in alcohol should be treated any differently from those in food.”


So, for now, maybe just try to stick to the recommended alcohol allowances to keep your health in check. Forgotten what they are? Here you go: 3-4 units per day (a pint and a half of beer) for men and 2-3 (a pint of beer) for women. You’re welcome.