Many in england unaware of alcohol calories

Many in england unaware of alcohol calories

A survey by the Department of Health reveals that many people in England don't realise how many calories they consume when they drink an alcoholic beverage, and it is mostly a lot more than they think.

The poll of over 2,000 adults was part of the government's Know Your Limits campaign.

New figures out today show that the average wine drinker in England now consumes about 2,000 calories a month just from alcoholic beverages. Over a year this is the equivalent of eating nearly 184 bags of crisps or 38 roast dinners, said a Department of Health statement on the results.

The key results of the Know Your Limits survey show that:

  • 42 per cent of women admitted they did not know that a glass of white wine contains the same number of calories as a bag of crisps.
  • 40 per cent of men didn't realize that a pint of lager contains as many calories as a sausage roll.
  • More than 1 in 3 drinkers (37 per cent) admitted they were likely to eat more than usual or forego the healthy diet when they drank above their recommended daily limit.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (29 per cent) of drinkers also eat crisps, nuts or pork scratchings when they drink alcohol, while 19 per cent regularly have a pizza, a burger, a bag of chips or a kebab when they have more than 2 pints of beer or 2 glasses of wine.
  • 62 per cent of drinkers have a less healthy breakfast (instead of their usual bowl of cereal or musli) if they have a hangover from the day before.
  • 28 per cent have a "fry-up", bacon or sausage sandwich or a take away breakfast from a fast food outlet to "settle their stomachs" the day after drinking over their recommended limit.
The Department of Health statement also points out that:
  • Two large glasses of white wine not only put a woman over her recommended daily limit for alcohol intake, they also add up to 370 calories, nearly a fifth of her daily calorie allowance.
  • Drinking just five pints a week for a year comes to 44,200 calories, the same as eating 221 doughnuts.
  • Having a "fry-up" instead of a bowl of cereal or musli the morning after drinking over the recommended limit can add an extra 450 calories, in addition to the alcohol calories consumed the night before.
Health Minister Phil Hope said that habitually drinking over our recommended daily limit affects our waistline and our health.

"It's not only the calories in the drinks themselves that can help to pile on the pounds, we're also more likely to eat fatty foods when we've had one too many," said Hope, adding that "to avoid piling on the pounds we should try to drink within the recommended limits, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly".

A spokesman for the Drinkaware Trust told the BBC that "it's imperative we are in the know when it comes to what we are drinking."

British Nutrition Foundation spokeswoman Heather Caswell said that many people wouldn't drink a full glass of single cream but don't think twice about drinking a couple of pints of beer, which has the same amount of calories.

"Sticking to sensible drinking habits and keeping to the recommended units will not only help keep off those extra pounds but will also help decrease your risk of serious health problems, such as some types of cancer and liver disease," she added.

To keep your alcohol related calorie intake under control, the British Nutrition Foundation suggests you:

  • Stick to your daily recommended limit for alcohol.
  • For men this is 3 to 4 units a day, for women it is 2 to 3 units (a pint of lager and a 250 ml glass of wine is about 3 units of alcohol, depending on how strongly alcoholic they are).
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water; it will also stop you getting dehydrated.
  • Don't drink on an empty stomach; eat a healthy meal before you start drinking, and when eating out, order your food before you start drinking so you are not tempted to go for unhealthy options.
  • If you find yourself reaching for a snack while drinking, choose something healthy like a sandwich instead of crisps or chips, or a chicken burger without mayonnaise rather than a kebab.
  • If you drink in rounds you are likely to drink more over the course of the evening. Opt out and drink at your own pace; take small sips also helps with pacing.
  • Don't binge drink: some people think it's OK to have all their units in one go.
  • Try adding soda water to white wine to make the same number of units go further.
The Know Your Units website also has advice on how to cut down on alcohol.

Sources: Department of Health, BBC.

84% of Britons Do Not Understand the Calorie Content of Alcoholic Drinks (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

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