Target: Catherine Brown, Chief Executive, United Kingdom Food Standards Agency
Goal: Require alcohol packaging to display information about caloric and nutritional value.
Approximately 85 percent of consumers in the United Kingdom are unaware of how many calories their alcoholic beverages contain, according to a recent study by the Local Government Association (LGA). The study found that 8-out-of-10 consumers did not know that a glass of wine contains approximately 220 calories, and 9-out-of-10 beer drinkers were unaware that the average pint contains 180 calories. Without this information, it is impossible to make informed choices about one’s alcohol consumption.
While most people are aware that excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to health issues such as liver damage and heart disease, not many are aware of its potential contributions to the obesity crisis. Not only is alcohol high in calories and low in nutritional value, but has an “appetizer effect” which can increase hunger and lead to further calorie consumption. Leading experts have suggested that the excessive intake of sugar, including the sugar present in alcohol, is a major contributor to the obesity crisis.
Currently, 67 percent of men and 57 percent of women in the United Kingdom are overweight or obese. A World Health Organization report expects those numbers to rise to 75 percent of men and 64 percent of women by the year 2030 should the government fail to implement measures to combat the epidemic. Obesity can lead to numerous health complications, including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and increased risk of certain types of cancer.
In order to combat the obesity epidemic, it is imperative that citizens are able to make informed choices about the products they are consuming. Not only does education about basic nutrition need to increase, but all products should contain information about their caloric and nutritional value. Sign the petition below to urge the United Kingdom to require nutritional information on all alcoholic beverages.
Dear Chief Executive Brown,
A recent study shows that 85 percent of alcohol consumers in the United Kingdom are unaware of how many calories their favorite drinks contain. Two-thirds of respondents to the same survey supported the idea of adding nutritional information to alcohol packaging.
In order to combat the obesity epidemic, it is important that citizens are able to make informed decisions about the products they are consuming. We, the undersigned, ask that policies requiring the display of caloric and nutritional content on all alcohol are implemented.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nejmlez