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

Ferry Island Campground in Terrace now open to out of province visitors

Decision based on recommendations from the provincial government

Infinite Ice’s holistic hockey program returning to Terrace in August

COVID-19 precautions in place for on-ice training, meditation, yoga and nutrition classes

Ice coming to the Terrace Sportsplex in August

Second sheet planned for October, arena closed to the public for the time being

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read