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Monday, June 3, 2013

Voluntary Alcohol Nutrition Labels

Nutrition Facts about Me
As we move towards a healthier society it is becoming more and more common to include nutritional labels on just about everything we consume. In the near future it may not be uncommon to see such labels right next to health warning labels now that alcohol manufacturers can place nutrition labels on beer, wine, and spirits. The U.S. Treasury Department recently announced the new non- compulsory allowance, according to the Associated Press.

Information such as calories, servings per container, serving size, and carbohydrates will be included in the new labels. There will be certain companies who will use the labels to display low calories and carbohydrates in order to emphasize that consumers will not put on as much weight compared with other alcoholic beverages. The article pointed out that beer manufacturers may be less likely to use them, because they will not want to highlight how many calories their products have.

Michael Jacobson, Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, believes that manufacturers of alcohol products should be required to list alcohol contents on the label. Jacobson said in a statement, “Including fat and carbohydrates on a label could imply that an alcoholic beverage is positively healthful, especially when the drink’s alcohol content isn’t prominently labeled. In this era of obesity, calorie labeling is critically important to inform or remind consumers that alcoholic drinks are not ‘free’ when it comes to calories. Finally, a really useful alcohol label would state the government’s definition of moderate drinking as no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.”

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