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Alcohol, Calories, and Obesity: Could labelling make a difference?

Mandatory calorie labelling of alcoholic drinks could possibly address both alcohol consumption and obesity. An analysis published in Obesity Reviews summaries the results of studies that have examined consumer knowledge of the calorie content of alcoholic drinks, public support for labelling of calorie content on such drinks, and the effect of labelling on consumption.

In the analysis of 18 relevant studies, there was moderate evidence that people were unaware of the calorie content of alcoholic drinks and that they supported labelling. Studies found no evidence that labelling affected consumption levels, but most studies were of low quality and were not conducted in real-world settings.

“The UK government is considering whether calorie labelling of alcoholic drinks can help address obesity,” said lead author Eric Robinson, PhD, of the University of Liverpool, in the UK. “Although it’s unclear if calorie labels will have a meaningful impact on what people choose to drink, making sure drinks have to be clearly labelled is a step in the right direction and may also encourage the alcohol industry to cut calories in drinks.”


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