How sweet! Some Wine Bottles Have More Sugar Than a Glazed Donut

Sugar, the bad boy of our diet: Maybe you pay attention to how much you eat per day.

You pay attention to cakes, cookies and ice cream, monitoring how much you have eaten, according to the nutritional advice on the label.

Good game. But what about wine?

A new study by Alcohol Health Alliance UK found that some bottles contained up to 59 grams of sugar, more than a glazed donut.

As the BBC reported, the research was part of a push for nutrition labeling on wine bottles, so consumers know how much sugar they are consuming with each glass.

Yeah, but what about Down Under, mate?

First, let’s talk about those 59 grams.

That’s actually nine grams more than the recommended daily intake of sugar, as advised by the World Health Organization via the federal government’s health advice website:

“Adults and children should reduce their sugar intake to less than 10% of their total daily energy intake. On average, this equates to about 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of sugar per day for an adult.

Of course, no one says you drink an entire bottle of wine. The fact is that a significant portion of your healthy sugar intake could be taken up by wine.

According to the Australian food website delicious:

Irene Falcone, CEO of Sans Drinks.

“On average, a tall glass of sweet white wine may contain 15 grams of sugar, while a dry red wine may contain only one gram of sugar.”

So if you’re counting calories and trying to avoid “empty calories,” keeping track of your sugar intake when you drink wine, as well as in the foods you eat, seems like a good idea.

Except that with wine, there is no label to advise you.

Irene Falcone is the CEO of Sans Drinks, a Sydney-based company that sells alcohol-free wine and pre-mixed cocktails. All of its products come with nutritional advice, as these products are considered food.

“Alcohol-free winemakers are required to add nutritional information. So when you choose an alcohol-free wine, you know exactly how much sugar you’re consuming, and that’s significantly less than 59g found in some wines. alcoholic,” she said.

However, manufacturers of wine containing alcohol are not required to carry this nutrition labelling.

Ms Falcone, also founder of natural beauty company Nourished Life, said The new daily:

“Alcoholic winemakers absolutely must include nutritional information – consumers are increasingly aware of the harms of sugar and want to make informed decisions.”

Will this happen?

In a way, maybe.

Faced with strenuous objections from the alcohol lobby, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is considering energy labeling of alcoholic products.

This means that the total energy of a bottle of wine or beer or premixed drink will somehow be listed on the bottle or can. So you will know overall how many calories you are drinking.

Jane Martin of the Obesity Policy Coalition, who submitted a paper to FSANZ “requested views on whether to apply broader nutrition labelling, including sugar or carbohydrate content, to alcohol products” .

The coalition wants to see improved labeling on alcohol products, “but what we’re advocating is energy labeling to show how many kilojoules are in an alcohol product”.

wine
Associate Professor Gary Sacks.

The coalition says it does not “advocate for sugar content to be included on the labels of alcoholic products, as we fear this could send a misleading signal to consumers that sugar content is highly relevant to” health. “relating to alcoholic products or to the extent that alcoholic products are likely to contribute to overall energy intake and be detrimental to health”.

You can view the FSANZ evidence assessment document here.

Is this new labeling likely to go ahead?

Associate Professor Gary Sacks is a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow based at Deakin University’s Global Obesity Center (GLOBE). His research focuses on policies for the prevention of obesity and related diseases.

Dr Sacks said The new daily:

“We absolutely must improve the labeling of alcoholic beverages. Because right now, the vast majority of alcoholic beverages have no nutritional information.

“Everything would be an improvement over the current situation.”

He said the proposed energy label “isn’t a bad start…it’s good that the government is at least looking into it”.

The preferred option would be “full nutrition labelling, including energy and sugar”.

The alcohol industry would resist the move, and Dr Sacks said the lobby group’s efforts to roll back energy labeling could prove successful.

“Anything related to alcohol regulation is always a big fight,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a fait accompli on what FSANZ will do, because we know from experience that the alcohol industry will very strongly oppose any regulation. There is still a long way to go for even energy labeling to progress.

The alcohol lobby responds

Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA), in an email responding to questions, said:

“We engaged with FSANZ early on in their energy labeling review and provided constructive feedback as their review progressed.

“At no time during the consultation process did we say that we objected to the decision to label our products with energy information.

“We have rightly questioned the suggestion that alcohol contributes to the obesity problem in Australia, as the evidence does not support a causal relationship.”

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