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Study Shows Average Drinker Consumes Nearly A Whopping 75,000 Calories in Alcohol

Study Shows Average Drinker Consumes Nearly A Whopping 75,000 Calories in Alcohol

Whiskey Raiders
By Cynthia Mersten
May 30, 2023

A new study done by DrinkWell revealed the number of calories in alcohol the average drinker consumes on an annual basis — and it’s supersized, to say the least. The average drinker imbibes nearly 75,000 calories in alcohol per year, according to the study, which was cited in an article in the Daily Mirror on Thursday.

To put that into perspective, 75,000 calories is equivalent to 263 slices of pizza, 293 Big Macs or 1,000 cookies.

The study concluded that beer drinkers consumed the most calories, taking in an average of 111,852 calories on an annual basis. Beer has the most variation in terms of calorie content, and your favorite IPA can range from 100 to more than 300 calories, so says an article published in Vox.

The general rule is that drinks with higher alcohol percentages will be higher in calories. This also applies to whiskey, as higher-proof expressions tend to have a higher caloric content.

Drinking more than the recommended amount can lead to adverse health effects like weight gain, heart conditions, cirrhosis and death.

Why don’t labels list the calories in alcohol?

The Food and Drug Administration requires that calories and nutritional information get listed on packaged foods, yet a different set of rules apply in relation to alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol is not regulated by the FDA but instead by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. After Prohibition was repealed in the early 1930s, congress passed the Alcohol Administration Act which would later give rise to the TTB. The TTB does not require nutritional labeling to be listed on alcoholic packaging, and some experts think this poses a huge problem.

“Many adults take in a tremendous amount of calories in alcohol, and they have no idea,” said Sara Bleich, a public-health researcher at Johns Hopkins, according to Vox.

Consumer advocate groups have supported putting nutritional labels on bottles of alcohol yet faced backlash from many companies within the beverage industry. Suppliers, distillers, brewers and vintners — with a notable exception from Diageo — balked at the idea of mandatory nutritional labels, as the thought was that these labels would lead consumers astray in believing that alcohol was actually nutritious.

Alcohol-related deaths have steadily been on the rise since 2000 and have been increasing by up to 7% each year, according to NPR. In the first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, alcohol-related deaths rose by approximately 26%.

This recent rise in alcohol-related deaths has led health officials to reassess what “drinking in moderation” really means.