The traffic light system has been used on food for a while due to EU laws, and the system tells its consumers their calorie intake with each food product. However, after recent research suggests that around 80% of us were unaware of just how many calories are within our favourite drinks. Doctors have recommended that the laws be changed so that the calories for alcohol are displayed on the packaging in a similar traffic light system. Just to give you some idea of the calories we deal with in our alcohol, here’s a few examples:
- A large (250ml) glass of 8% wine is around 170 calories
- A large (250ml) glass of 14% wine is around 230 calories
- A pint of 4% beer is over 180 calories
The widely made connection going around at the moment is that a doughnut, in comparison, is around 200 calories – meaning that many alcoholic products are easily matching some high-calorie food. It is this kind of statistic that people across the European Union hope to become more common knowledge, allowing people to more easily measure their calorie intake. The government is to be discussing the change of law this month (November 2014) and if the law is changed, it is believed by some that the traffic light system will be an effective combat against obesity.
The current traffic light system ranks food and drink in the green, amber or red sections, and shows you at a glance if the product has high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt. Alcohol is currently excluded from this system, and experts think that including it within the scheme will help to increase peoples’ health.
The argument has also been made, however, that some would prefer to remain ignorant of the facts – preferring instead to enjoy the drink without feeling that they are harming themselves in any way, which is a possible valid point – those who do not wish to know may just ignore the labels, instead focusing on the enjoyment of the products.
What do you think – Should the law be changed to include alcoholic products, or would it simply be a waste of time and resources? Let us know.