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

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Join Kootenay family in virtual walk for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert,” Brigitte Ady shares.

Most Read