Healthy living * Weight loss

Do you know how many calories are in your favourite drink?

Do you know how many calories are in your favourite drink? New online tool helps drinkers manage their intake

Most people in the UK do not know just how fattening alcoholic drinks can be - even if they are on a diet.

A survey of 2,000 people found that less than a third knew how many calories are in a standard glass of wine. The answer is 134, which is just under half of the calories found in a cheeseburger - a fact known to over 40% of the survey respondents (337 calories).

Ignorance about the true calorific value of alcoholic drinks was widespread, even though nearly half of the respondents claimed to be trying to lose weight.

Help might be at hand though, as the survey was commissioned to support the launch of an online drink tracking tool, MyDrinkaware, by the alcohol industry funded charity Drinkaware.

Lack of knowledge about the fattening effects of alcohol was matched by the unwillingness of the UK public to consider reducing their alcohol consumption, with a whopping 62% saying that they were concerned about their finances even though they had no plans to reduce their spending on alcohol.

In fact nearly two thirds of us would rather cut back on eating out, holidays and clothes than on buying alcohol.

The new tool, which can be found at, will help you to manage and control your intake of alcohol. Handily, it can turn the calorie count of your favourite tipple into so-called "burger" equivalents.

Explaining the reason behind this measure, Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: "We know that people understand calories better than they understand units, and this study shows that when it comes to tracking their alcohol consumption, many people have a 'blind spot'.

"While they might make healthy lifestyle choices in other areas of their life, they might not know that sharing a bottle of wine with their partner exceeds the daily unit guidelines and is the equivalent of eating a slice of cheesecake."

This article was published on Mon 23 May 2011

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