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RTO No: 52312

Food Standards Australia New Zealand considers energy labels for alcohol

24 May 2022

Aussies have largely been kept in the dark on the kilojoules hiding in their booze, but that could soon change under a proposal to consider energy labels on alcoholic drinks.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) announced on Monday that it was preparing a proposal to consider including the labels.

Unlike most other packaged food and drinks, packaged alcoholic beverages have been exempt from providing nutrition information on the label.

It means consumers have been limited from understanding the energy contribution – measured in kilojoules or calories – that alcohol makes to their diet.

Alcohol is high in energy, providing 29.3 kilojoules per gram, according to the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting alcohol intake to assist in managing body weight given it is energy dense but nutrient poor.

FSANZ last year found consumer understanding of the energy content in beer, wine and spirits was poor.

An analysis of 22 studies showed only a minority could correctly guess a drink’s energy content (the number of kilojoules or calories) using general knowledge.

The consumers surveyed were also generally unable to correctly rank the energy content of different alcoholic drinks.

They tended to mistakenly think wine and spirits were lower in energy compared with other booze.

Meanwhile, beer was wrongly thought to be higher in energy than other alcoholic drinks, according to FSANZ’s evidence assessment in June last year.

The Brewers Association of Australia, a peak body representing Australian beer makers and drinkers, has been supportive of FSANZ’s moves towards energy labelling.

Attributed to news.com.au

Melissa Iaria