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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Much Alcohol Is In Your Drink?

This image shows a red wine glass.
People often fail to realize how much alcohol they are consuming when they take a drink. Every alcoholic beverage, whether beer, wine, or liquor, has varying alcohol content. This fact makes it hard for people to gauge their alcohol intake, according to a new report.

Not understanding how much alcohol a given beverage has can lead to people consuming more than they had planned, often leading to unfortunate events. Beer and wine makers are not required by federal law to list the alcohol content by volume on their beverages, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“A one or two percentage point difference in alcohol content between beer brands may not sound like much, but proportionally it’s pretty big and the difference adds up over a number of drinks,” said Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group report’s lead scientist, William Kerr.

A common drink has 0.6 ounces of alcohol, but many European beers have 8 to 10 percent alcohol by volume, and several American craft beers have between 6 and 7 percent. 

“A lot of the wines now are 14 percent or even 15 percent commonly, and the standard 5-ounce glass of wine doesn’t apply to that level,” Kerr told Health Day. “Really a 4-ounce glass is more appropriate. And we’ve learned from our studies of bars and restaurants that the average glass is a little bit over 6 ounces.” Kerr states that one glass of wine may actually contain about 50 percent more alcohol than a person expects.
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