Alcohol: British drinkers want nutritional information on bottles, YouGov survey finds

Beers, wines and spirits should have nutritional information on the bottle, according to British drinkers.

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A recent survey by YouGov suggests that more than half the UK population think alcohol packaging should have the nutritional information front and centre. While food and drink must contain information about calories, fats, sugars and more - alcohol is currently exempt from this law.

Now, campaigners are pushing for the government to show people exactly what's in the booze they're drinking - and the impact it can have on their diet.

Tom Bell, founder of Drinkwell, says this doesn't mean people have to stop drinking alcohol, but instead can make a more informed decision on what they buy.

He said: "Some people might not realise it, but a lot of these alcoholic drinks are full of absolute rubbish, including ridiculously high sugar levels. People should be able to enjoy alcohol, but have the information on the label to make informed decisions.

"Why does a bottle of water have to have a comprehensive nutritional label but a bottle of wine which can contain over 1000 calories doesn't? This is a phenomenon which seems absurd to me as a modern day consumer in light of the clear national health implications of obesity plaguing the NHS and our wider care system.

"The European Union and British government are so far behind the times because these labels should be mandatory. I think it could change the way people shop for their alcohol - if you look at a bottle of wine and see high sugar and calorie levels, it will make consumers much more aware of what they're drinking."

Nutritional information has become a hot topic for consumers in recent weeks.

A study from the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that of consuming 0–40 mg/kg body weight of aspartame was still an acceptable daily intake. Meanwhile, Prime Energy was taken off shelves in Canada due to its high caffeine content, and BBC's panorama found a link between eating processed foods and cognative decline.

With pub chain Wetherspoon already providing nutritional information on its menus, Mr Bell added that the switch should be a straightforward process.

"Wetherspoon is one of the first in the UK to do it, but this is commonplace in countries like America and Australia," he said.

"These companies will already have this information available - it's simply a case of putting it on the packaging.

"Our research has shown that for the average consumer, alcohol can account for 75,000 calories a year; we have a pandemic of obesity already in this country, and one of the first diet plans people will come up with is to stop drinking.

"That doesn't have to be the case - in fact there are countless low-calorie and low-sugar alcholic drinks that are absolutely fantastic. It's just a case of giving people that information and letting them make their own minds up."

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