Alcohol calories to be printed on menus

18th December, 2014 by Melita Kiely

Chain restaurants with more than 20 or more venues in the US will be required to state the number of calories in alcoholic drinks by next November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled.

Alcohol calorie information menus FDA US

Chain restaurants with more than 20 venues must print alcohol calorie information on menus by November 2015

However, drinks served at the bar or any that are not listed on the menu will be exempt from the regulations.

“Alcoholic beverages are a key contributor to the calories Americans are consuming, and most of the time when people have a drink they have absolutely no idea what its caloric impact is,” said Margo Wootan of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, whose group petitioned the government more than 10 years ago for bottles and cans to carry calorie and nutritional information.

Originally, the FDA’s proposal for menu labelling in 2011 omitted alcohol but the FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the agency decided to include it in the final rules this year after due to public health concerns.

The drinks industry objected, arguing they were being regulated by the Treasury Department, not the FDA.

In order to not make the new regulations too taxing for alcohol companies, mixed drinks will not have to be labelled at bars and restaurants are allowed to estimate the number of calories in different drinks rather than listing the exact amount in every beverage.

In October, a public health body in the UK called for calorie information to be displayed on bottles of spirits. 

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