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

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

Recharged Sharks aim for playoffs after ‘well-earned’ break

Bayside rugby club mixes youth with returning veterans in quest for men’s Div. 1 title

Pedestrian fatality in Surrey

Police are investigating at 183 Street and Highway 10

Police watchdog seeking witnesses to Surrey arrest

It happened in a McDonald’s parking lot in Guildford on Jan. 18, at 152nd Street and 102A Avenue, at about 1 a.m.

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read