A glass of wine has as many calories as four fish fingers: Government to target drinkers in calorie counting campaign
By JAMES CHAPMAN
Middle-class drinkers are to be targeted in a Government campaign warning exactly how many calories are contained in a glass of wine or beer.
Ministers are concerned that the average wine drinker now consumes around 2,000 calories from alcohol alone each month.
That is the equivalent of 38 extra roast beef suppers or almost 184 bags of crisps a year.
Comparison: A glass of wine and four fish fingers are equally bad for you
Government advisers believe that drinkers who are happy to ignore warnings about alcohol’s health risks may be persuaded to limit their intake when they realise the effect on their waistline.
Two large glasses of white wine not only put a woman over the recommended daily limit for alcohol consumption but also provide her with nearly a fifth of her daily calorie allowance.
A glass of white wine has the same calorie content as a bag of crisps and a pint of lager has as many calories as a sausage roll.
A beer-drinker knocking back just five pints a week would add 44,200 calories over a year, equivalent to 221 doughnuts.
The Government is increasingly concerned about the alcohol intake of the middle classes.
Its latest statistics suggest middle-aged, professionals are more likely to exceed recommended daily levels of alcohol consumption than the working class, with twice as many drinking each night of the week.
Almost one in four middle-class drinkers admit indulging in ‘heavy’ drinking, which is deemed to be double the recommended daily limit, at least once a week.
This is equivalent to a man having three pints of strong lager or a woman drinking two large glasses of wine.
Additional calories do not just come from the alcohol consumed, according to Department of Health research.
More than one in three drinkers – 37 per cent – admit they are likely to eat more than they usually would or ditch a healthy diet when drinking above their recommended daily limits.
Almost one in three – 29 per cent – order crisps, nuts or pork scratchings to accompany a drink, while 19 per cent regularly opt for takeaway food.
Health Minister Phil Hope said: ‘Regularly drinking more than our recommended daily limits can have a knock-on effect on our health – including an expanding waistline.
‘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. To avoid piling on the pounds we should try to drink within the recommended limits, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.’
Heather Caswell, of the British Nutrition Foundation, said: ‘Many women don’t know that two large glasses of white wine not only puts them over the recommended daily limit for alcohol consumption, but also provides them with nearly 20 per cent of their daily calorie allowance, at approximately 370kcals in total.
‘Most people would baulk at consuming a full glass of single cream, but wouldn’t think twice about a couple of pints.
‘But the calorie content is similar and, over time, excess alcohol intake is likely to lead to weight gain.
‘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.’
The British Nutrition Foundation suggests alternating alcoholic drinks with glasses of water, opting out of drinking in rounds and avoiding binge drinking.
The answer is – don’t eat fish finger just enjoy great SA wine!!