MEPs Call for Calorie Content on Alcohol Labels

By Steve Wynne-Jones
MEPs Call for Calorie Content on Alcohol Labels

MEPs have called on the European Commission to put mandatory calorie information on all alcohol labelling by 2016.

MEPs voted on the issue in Strasbourg to table a legislative proposal by 2016, as part of a wider strategy on cutting down alcohol consumption in Europe.

Alcohol drinks (that contain more than 1.2 per cent ABV), unlike food, are exempt from EU regulations on nutritional labelling that came into force in 2011 covering all food and soft drinks.

MEPs in favour of the proposed legislation, along with health experts, insist that it is a vital measure to tackle obesity and alcohol-related death, the third most common cause of preventable premature death and disease.

As reported in The Times in the UK, European winemakers have began a campaign to dissuade the European Union from forcing them to reveal the caloric value of each bottle, claiming it would put extra costs on small vineyards.


However, the most recent vote by the Parliament appears to have put the wheels in motion, in an attempt to make people more aware of the amount of calories in what they consume.

A recent survey by the UK's Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) revealing that 80 per cent of adults questioned did not know or incorrectly estimated the calories in a large glass of wine (200 calories - as much as a chocolate doughnut).

Lithuania, at nearly 15 litres litres of alcohol consumed a year per capita, has the highest rate of alcohol consumption in the EU. Italy (six litres), Sweden and Malta have the lowest consumption rates.

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