On a diet? Beware of the hidden calories lurking in booze

With summer slowly creeping up, I, like many others, am on a mission to get that perfect bikini bod. My housemates and I have recently become obsessed with calorie counting and whilst it’s obvious a Domino’s take out is loaded with calories, it’s not so obvious that a double vodka and coke actually carries almost the same amount of calories as just ONE slice of pizza. Shocking, huh?

Vodka, at 55kcals a shot, is actually one of the less fattening alcoholic options – if you mix it with a tonic and lime, that is, instead of a sugary fizzy drink. But, whilst on a night out, it’s easy to lose track of how many shots you throw back and combined with whatever else you might drink you could quite easily end up consuming an entire days calorie allowance – just on alcohol.

Because so many of us are oblivious to these seemingly hidden calories that lurk in our favourite tipple, ministers have been in talks with the drink industry about including calorie content on drinks labels.

In response to a parliamentary question earlier this year, Health minister Anna Soubry said: “The department has discussed the possible inclusion of calorie content on labels with representatives of the alcohol industry on a number of occasions.”

Similar agreements saw fast food chains such as KFC and McDonalds forced to display calorie information on their products so should alcohol labels provide the same information?

Personally, I think for calorie counters, like myself, this is quite a good idea. Many people, especially women, consciously calculate how many calories they’re eating a day and if they were aware how much was in their evening glass of wine then perhaps they’d switch to a lighter drink or just banish it all together.

However, these labels are obviously not going to be present on a pint of beer bought in a pub so will fail to have much of an impact unless you’re drinking shop-bought alcohol.

Nevertheless, it’s an idea that will raise alarm bells with at least a minority of us – I know I’ll definitely be stressing the word ‘diet’ when I next order a Malibu and coke!

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