Adam Sherk, UVic post-doctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, studied the caloric intake from alcohol. (Photo by Jonathan Woods)

Study shows calories from binge drinking equivalent to a double cheeseburger

University of Victoria researcher looks at the calories Canadian drinkers consume

The final long weekend of summer is upon us, and for many that means camping, barbecues and some alcoholic beverages. Canadian drinkers may be surprised to hear that there are just as many calories in a few beers as there are in a double cheeseburger.

Adam Sherk, a University of Victoria (UVic) post-doctoral fellow at the university’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, recently completed a study that calculated how many calories are consumed by Canadians via alcohol.

Sherk found that, on average, drinkers ingest 250 calories from alcohol per day. Those 250 calories are about 11 per cent of a person’s daily energy requirements. Sherk explained that it’s the same as eating a bag of chips each day.

“If we look at binge drinking, or having something like four or five drinks on one occasion, it’s actually closer to 550 calories, which is about 25 per cent of the recommended daily caloric intake,” he noted. “That’s the equivalent of a double cheeseburger with all the fixings.”

READ ALSO: Study finds B.C.’s regulation of alcohol is second-best in the country but still far from great

The study also revealed that 52.5 per cent of the calories came from beer, 21 per cent from wine, 20 per cent from spirits and 6.5 per cent from the category that included ciders and coolers.

The findings from the study were published in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research and the paper concludes with a call for alcohol containers to have comprehensive nutritional facts and health risks associated with drinking on the labels. Sherk and his co-authors pointed out that many drinkers aren’t even aware of the caloric intake from alcohol because alcoholic beverage cans and bottles aren’t required to list the nutritional facts.

“Given that the updated Canada Food Guide specifically highlights the importance of cutting back on sugary drinks, including alcohol, we think nutritional labels would be valuable,” says Sherk. “Labels could also be used to communicate information about alcohol’s other health risks, including cancer, stroke and heart disease, or details about Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.”

An info-graphic created to accompany the paper noted the author’s suggestion to add the nutrition facts to alcohol containers and jokingly added in brackets that the other option is for Canadians to “maybe drink a little less beer…”


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

An infographic associated with the study demonstrates the findings visually. (Photo from the Calorie Intake from Alcohol in Canada: Why New Labelling Requirements are Necessary)

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Vancouver Island Indigenous leaders supportive of B.C.’s new plan for old forest preservation

More than 260,000 hectares in Clayoquot Sound mapped for immediate old growth harvesting deferral

HISTORY COLUMN: Reflecting on the 32nd anniversary of Canada’s apology to Japanese-Canadians

Japanese-Canadians an integral part of Tofino and Ucluelet’s history.

Extravagant marriage proposal in Ucluelet

“It was such a dream. He brought a dream to life. No one does this anymore.”

Missing mushroom picker found “alive and well” after three-day search in Ucluelet

“It’s always great to have a positive outcome like this.”

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read