Alcohol calorie labelling

The public’s health is under threat from an obesity epidemic and harm caused by irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

What's the issue? 

  • A large proportion of UK adults are overweight or obese, and the number is growing
  • Obesity increases the risk of developing many serious medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and some cancers, and has financial implications for the NHS and the UK economy as a whole
  • Alcoholic drinks are frequently high in calories and their regular consumption can lead to weight gain
  • Of adults that drink, it is estimated that nearly 10% of their daily calorie intake comes from alcohol

What is RSPH calling for? 

  • The European Union Health Commissioner and drinks companies to introduce calorie labelling on all alcohol products
  • Research undertaken to better understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and healthy weight in adults, including the potential effectiveness of using calorie and unit labelling to reduce alcohol consumption

Ask for calorie labelling on alcohol


1 slice of pizza

is 250 calories and equivalent to 250ml of white wine

1 pina colada is

450 calories

and equivalent to one cheeseburger

1 pint of lager

is 170 calories and equivalent to 90 small strawberries

RSPH took to the streets of central London to find out how much the public know about calories in alcohol and whether they would support calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks.

Related RSPH policy

Activity equivalent labelling

Over two-thirds of adults in the UK are now overweight or obese and evidence suggests activity equivalent calorie labelling has the potential to help moderate calorie intake

Childhood obesity

Obesity costs the NHS £4.2 billion a year and without urgent and radical action, this will rise to £10 billion a year by 2050

Young Health Movement

The Young Health Movement is a peer driven approach to raising public health awareness among young people