Two glasses of wine is enough to hit daily sugar limit, study says

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A new study has established that intake of two glasses of wine by adults is enough to hit the recommended daily limit of sugar.

The research, conducted by the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) in the United Kingdom and published on Wednesday, examined the calorie and sugar content of 30 bottles of red, white, rose, fruit and sparkling wine sold in the UK.

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that adults should not consume more than 30g of “free sugars” per day.

But the alliance, which represents more than 60 health organisations, said it is possible to reach and exceed the stipulated daily sugar intake by drinking two medium glasses of wine.

It also said most of the wines with less alcoholic content were found to contain more sugar.

According to the study, failure of the sampled brands to properly label their products also put many consumers at risk.

The study said none of the 30 products analysed displayed sugar content on their labels – as required for all non-alcoholic drinks.

It added that calorie content was only displayed on 20 percent of the labels examined.

Alcoholic drinks are required to display volume and strength in units of alcohol by volume (ABV) in the UK.

However, there are no requirements for ingredients, health warnings or nutritional value as found on many other food and drink food products.

Ian Gilmore, chairman of the alliance, described the arrangement as “absurd”, arguing that it portends danger to people.

“Alcohol’s current exemption from food and drink labelling rules is absurd. Shoppers who buy milk or orange juice have sugar content and nutritional information right at their fingertips,” Gilmore said.

“But this information is not required when it comes to alcohol – a product not just fuelling obesity but with widespread health harms and linked to seven types of cancer.

“The government must publish its planned consultation on alcohol labelling without further delay – which we have been waiting for since 2020.

“As well as calorie labelling and nutritional information, we need prominent health warnings and the UK Chief Medical Officers’ low-risk weekly drinking guidelines on labels.

“Studies suggest that this could help reduce alcohol harm by increasing knowledge of the health risks and prompting behaviour change.”