Consumers have a right to know the contents of what they eat and drink. Millions of people rely on nutrition labels to help them make health and diet choices. So alcohol labeling public support is strong.
Research has found that label information on packaged food and drinks is very useful. It helps 76% of people make decisions on what to buy. So the fact is simple about alcohol labeling. In short, alcohol labeling public support is strong.
But how much fat is in your favorite beer. How much protein is in your glass of merlot. Or how many carbs are in your gin? It’s impossible to find out. That’s because of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). It prohibits beer, wine and spirits companies from providing any of those facts on labels!
A number of consumer and nutrition groups have called for an end to this restriction. As a result, consumers would have the facts they need to make wise choices.
You might be interested in these.
Alcohol Labeling Public Support is strong. A national sample of adults in the U.S. age 21 or older found these facts.
- 61% support nutritional labels on alcohol containers,
- 79% prefer a label with alcohol facts. That is, alcohol per serving, alcohol by volume and what standard drinks are.
- 70%-82% find the alcohol and nutritional facts on proposed labels easy to understand.
- “Alcohol content by serving” was rated as the important fact to have on labels (69%). And it was the most likely to be read (65%).
- Only 47% know that a standard drink of regular beer is. Only 39% know what a standard drink of wine is. And only 22% know what a standard drink of spirits (liquor) is.
- After being told what a standard drink is, most (85%) think this fact helpful.
- After hearing what a standard drink is, it was the second most helpful piece of alcohol fact (55%).
Nutrition in Popular Beverages
The calories, carbohydrates and fat content of beverages is important. It’s essential to maintain or lose weight. That’s because we tend to be unaware of just how fattening some beverages really are. The following list shows the calories, carbs and fat found in servings of both alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.
|Beverage||Calories||Carbs (grams)||Fat (grams)|
|All Distilled Spirits (rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, bourbon, etc.)|
|Apple juice (unsweetened)|
|Grape juice (unsweetened)|
|Grapefruit juice (unsweetened)|
|Milk (2% fat)|
|Orange juice (unsweetened)|
|Tangerine juice (unsweetened)|
- Source: USDA.
So most alcohol beverages have fewer calories than most non-alcohol ones. Yet alcohol beverages contain no fat and are very low in carbohydrates.
For whatever reason, numerous studies have shown that drinking alcohol tends not to increase weight. And among women, it is often linked with slight weight loss. That’s even better news than the figures listed above would suggest. Learn more at Alcohol, Calories and Weight: Surprising Facts Unknown to Most M.D.s.
Standard drinks all have the same amount of pure alcohol. It’s six-tenths of an ounce.
Knowing about alcohol equivalence can help people drink in moderation. The American Dietetic Association says it well. “Knowing the facts of beverage alcohol equivalence is a crucial aspect of responsible drinking.”
For example, people won’t be fooled by the misleading term “hard liquor.” That implies that drinking spirits leads more quickly to intoxication than beer or wine. For more, see Alcohol Equivalence.
The drivers manuals of most states emphasize alcohol equivalence and its importance. So do these.
- Nat Inst on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
- Natl Highway Traffic Safety Ad (NHTSA).
- Cent for Disease Control and Prev (CDC).
- Food and Drug Ad (FDA).
- Am Dietetic Assn.
- Nat Coun of Alcoholism and Drug Depend.
- Am Heart Assn.
- Natl Kidney Found.
- Am Diabetes Assn.
- U.S. Dept of Ag (USDA).
- Am Gastro Assn.
- Nat Consumers League
- Am Public Health Assn.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
- Am Acad of Family Physicians.
- and many others.
- At this point, you know that alcohol labeling public support is strong.
- This site gives no advice.