Calories – alcohol second only to fat

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Alcohol accounts for almost 10% of total calorie intake among drinkers, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has said.

While losing weight is one of the most common New Year resolutions, many people are unaware how many calories alcohol contains. Furthermore, when adding up the calories they have consumed, people often fail to include alcohol-related calories, it noted.

In fact, alcohol is second only to fat in terms of calorie value. It contains 7kcal/g compared to fat’s 9kcal/g.

“The calories in alcoholic drinks account for a significant proportion of a drinker’s calorie consumption while providing little, if any, nutritional benefit. However, recent reports have shown that people are unaware of calories in drinks and don’t include them when calculating their daily consumption,” explained Kate Mendoza of the WCRF.

She emphasised the importance of this because after smoking, being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for cancer.

“There is also strong scientific evidence that alcohol itself is a cancer risk factor – possibly through damaging our DNA – in cancers of the breast, bowel, mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and liver,” Ms Mendoza said.

The WCRF offers the following tips for reducing alcohol intake:
-Choose the smallest serving size
-Dilute alcoholic drinks with a diet soft drink or soda water
-On a night out, alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks