MANY people are unaware of the caloriecontent of alcohol, according to a major British survey.
Four in 10 of those surveyed did not know that a glass of wine has the same calories as a slice of cake or that a pint of beer has the same amount of calories as a sausage roll.
The survey was carried out on 2,000 adults in England as part of the British government’s campaign to curb people’s excessive drinking habits.
Research showed that a regular beer drinker, who consumes five pints a week or 250 pints over the course of the year is taking in the equivalent of someone eating 221 doughnuts over the same period.
The British research also showed that the average wine drinker consumed 2,000 calories every month.
This is the same as eating an extra 38 roast beef dinners over the course of a year.
Senior community dietician with the Health Promotion Unit in the HSE, Maeve Carmody said a night on the town was like eating an extra meal in terms of calories.
“In the course of a day, a normal person would take in about 2,000 calories.
“A night out would add the same amount on top of that, so that’s the equivalent of eating the same amount of food on top of that again,” she said.
Ms Carmody pointed out that people’s actions after drinking also contribute to an unhealthy intake of calories.
“People have a few drinks and get a bit more relaxed and go to the chipper.
“Then in the morning, instead of a healthy breakfast, they tend to go for a fry so additional activities on top of drinking don’t help,” she said.
Ms Carmody pointed out that alcohol contained “dead calories” which have no nutritional value and therefore add fat.
“If someone drinks excessively and gains weight, they have an increased risk of diabetes, joint problems, decreased mobility and high cholesterol and blood pressure,” she said.
A small glass of red wine and slice of sponge cake both have 120 calories each.
A pint of beer or lager has 170 calories, the same as a small sausage roll.
A pint of cider and beans on toast both have 200 calories.
A cream liquor has 160 calories, the same as a chicken drumstick.
Spirits, such as vodka or gin, and a 25ml serving of single cream both contain 55 calories.
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