Just two glasses of wine could contain almost an entire day’s recommended sugar intake

The hidden sugars of alcoholJust two glasses of wine could contain almost an entire day’s recommended sugar intake, according to new research. 

Now health experts are calling for improved alcohol labelling in a bid to curb excessive sugar intake.

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK analysed around 30 bottles of wine, including red, white, rosé, sparking and fruit.

Findings show that wine can contain anything from between 0g to 59g of free sugars. Government guidelines recommend no more than 30g of free sugars each day per adult.

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What were the findings?

Key findings from the study include:

  • Two glasses of wine may contain almost your entire daily recommended sugar level
  • Two glasses of the most calorific wines contain more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger
  • Only one fifth of the wines analysed displayed calorie content on their labels
  • None of the wines displayed sugar content on their labels.

For example one wine – Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato – contained a significant 13.8g of sugar per medium glass.

Alcohol and obesity

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore is chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK. He said: ‘Alcohol’s current exemption from food and drink labelling rules is absurd. Shoppers who buy milk or orange juice have sugar content and nutritional information right at their fingertips.

‘But this information is not required when it comes to alcohol – a product not just fuelling obesity but with widespread health harms and linked to seven types of cancer.’

A survey published by the Alcohol Health Alliance in 2021, and conducted by Yougov, found that three in four want the number of units in a product on alcohol labels. In addition 61% want calorie information, and 53% want the amount of sugar.

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