Nutrition Labels on Alcoholic Beverages – Coming Soon!

Set of alcohol drinks in glasses isolated on white backgroundBy Emily Murray

While nutrition may be furthest thing from many people’s minds while relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening, soon labels will be a reminder that alcohol too has nutrition facts we should be aware of.

Of course, most of us are familiar with the terms “beer belly” or “beer gut” but if you ask most people the amount of carbohydrates or calories in their favorite drink, chances are you will get a shoulder shrug in response. Drinking alcohol is often one sneaky way of adding unnecessary calories to your diet,  so wouldn’t you like to know exactly how much you are adding?

On May 28th, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced that alcohol producing companies may now print nutrition labels on their bottles. The labeling will be voluntary (for now, later it may be mandatory) which is pleasing not only health conscious consumers but also the companies who are incorporating healthier ways to serve their alcohol for marketing purposes. You have probably already seen this as many beer companies have developed low carb and low calorie brews over the last few years.

While this sounds like a win-win situation (and for the most part, it is), alcohol is normally consumed more freely outside of the home, at bars and restaurants where the labeled bottles will not be visible. Other factors that may undermine the potential benefits include bartenders over-pouring or under-pouring which may vary from the suggested serving size mentioned in the nutrition info therefore skewing the numbers.

While nutrition labels are not likely to turn most people off from their favorite beverage, many underestimate just how many calories they are consuming on the average night out. Bringing awareness to this will be very beneficial for many and offers the opportunity to make a well informed choice when deciding what to drink.

Until these new labels begin to appear, you can use a site like this to check the nutrition of your favorite drinks.

What do you think? Would you like to see the nutrition information for your favorite cocktail or bottle of wine?