A glassful of calories: Canadian drinkers getting their fill from alcohol consumption

A glassful of calories: Canadian drinkers getting their fill from alcohol consumption
A glassful of calories: Canadian drinkers getting a bellyful from alcohol consumption

The average Canadian drinker consumers 250 calories, or 11 per cent of their daily estimated energy requirements, via alcohol every single day.

That’s according to a recent study led by Adam Sherk of University Of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research.

“That’s like eating an extra bag of chips every day,” said Sherk.

“If we look at binge drinking, or having something like four or five drinks on one occasion, it’s actually closer to 550 calories, which is about 25% of the recommended daily caloric intake. That’s the equivalent of a double cheeseburger with all the fixings.”

The study finds that beer is the main culprit, responsible for 52.5% of those offending calories. Wine is next at 21%, followed by spirits at 20% and other alcoholic drinks at 6%.

Sherk says one of the issues is that alcoholic beverage containers, unlike those of other food and drink, aren’t required to have nutritional labelling, something he and his co-authors would like to see change.

“Given that the updated Canada Food Guide specifically highlights the importance of cutting back on sugary drinks, including alcohol, we think nutritional labels would be valuable,” said Sherk.

“Labels could also be used to communicate information about alcohol’s other health risks, including cancer, stroke and heart disease, or details about Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.”

The study’s findings are published in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research.


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