- Alcohol-specific deaths in Scotland increase
- Students as Change Agents
- Health charities call for action to save lives from Scotlands biggest killers
- Australian ministers agree to visible pregnancy warning
- Three quarters of Scots back new controls to help protect children from alcohol advertising
- More accurate estimates for the burden of Alcohol on the Ambulance Service: around 1 in 6 callouts in Scotland are alcohol related
- How can alcohol labels be improved to help people make informed consumption choices
- Health experts call for better alcohol labelling
- Young people and their views on alcohol marketing
- Lowest alcohol sales in Scotland for 26 years
- Minimum unit pricing has lasting impact study shows
- Euros renews call for action to protect children from alcohol sports sponsorship
- Current alcohol labelling of little relevance to young adult drinkers
- Governments should step up efforts to tackle harmful alcohol consumption
- Scottish public and leading health experts back changes to alcohol labelling
- AFS calls for 65p minimum unit price for alcohol
- How will the main parties prevent harm from alcohol?
- Alcohol labelling reform is way past its sell by date
- Alcohol policy priorities for the next parliament
- Young drinkers believe prominent health warnings on alcohol could boost risk awareness
- Alcohol and the Workplace Effective Interventions
- Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic
- How can we prevent alcohol deaths?
- Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing
- Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing
- YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm
- New release of alcohol related hospital admissions
- Better alcohol labelling – A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?
- Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support
- Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing
- NICE Guidelines on FASD Surveillance or Support?
- Leading health charities call for action in Scotland
- Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul
- Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
- Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing
- Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP
- Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 to 2023
- We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown
- Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship
- New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking
- Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP
- First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP
- Commission on Alcohol Harm calls for evidence
- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol
- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
- Its time to tell us whats in our drinks
- A home for Rory
- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
- A family of resources it is all about prevention, education and resilience
- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol: a global concern
Health experts call for better alcohol labelling
Leading health experts are calling for better alcohol labelling as new research suggests that most of the public do not know the nutritional information of popular alcoholic drinks. The research also showed that the majority of Scots do not know the Chief Medical Officers’ drinking guidelines and were unlikely to look beyond the label in order to find health information on alcohol.
- 22% of the public could correctly estimate how many calories were in a medium glass (175ml) of wine at 12% ABV
- 25% of the public could correctly estimate how many calories were in a pint of lager at 5% ABV
- 1 in 10 (11%) of the public could correctly estimate how many calories were in a single measure (25ml) of spirits at 40% ABV
- Just 23% of the public know that the Chief Medical Officers’ drinking guideline is no more than 14 units of alcohol per week
- 3% of the public have visited a website address printed on an alcohol product in order to learn more about the health harms from alcohol
It was found:
A medium glass (175ml) of wine at 12% ABV
(within 50% of the true value of 133 calories)
A pint (568ml) of lager at 5% ABV
(within 50% of the true value of 239 calories)
A single measure (25ml) of spirits at 40% ABV
(within 50% of the true value of 48 calories)
The public were also asked if they knew the maximum number of units of alcohol that people are advised to drink a week, as recommended by the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs). Just 23% knew that the CMOs’ drinking guideline is a maximum of 14 units per week on a regular basis. 29% of the public did not know and 48% answered incorrectly.
The alcohol industry agreed to update labels to display the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) weekly guideline by September 2019. Yet research undertaken by the Alcohol Health Alliance at the time showed that more than 70% of labels surveyed did not include the drinking guidelines; over three years after they were updated and after the deadline the industry agreed with the Government.
Labels provide crucial information to consumers, yet the law only requires alcohol labels to show the strength of alcohol (ABV), allergens and the container’s volume. Any other information - such as ingredients, nutritional information and health risks - is optional. This is in stark contrast to the labelling requirements for all other food and drink products, despite alcohol being a class 1 carcinogen. As it stands, the law requires more information to be displayed on a carton of orange juice than on a bottle of wine.
Although many alcohol labels display a website for consumers to visit to find out about health harms from alcohol, just 3% of those surveyed by YouGov had visited a website printed on an alcohol product.
Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Health Alliance member organisation Alcohol Focus Scotland, said “Is it any surprise that so few Scots know the calorie content of drinks - or the Chief Medical Officers’ weekly low risk drinking guideline - when this information is not routinely provided by alcohol producers? It is unacceptable that a product linked to 10 deaths a day in Scotland continues to be exempt from laws on labelling that apply to everything else we eat and drink.
“The alcohol industry have dragged their feet for long enough – unless labelling requirements are set out in law we will continue to be kept in the dark about what is in our drinks and what the health risks are. We need reliable health and nutritional information directly on bottles and cans, where it can usefully inform our decisions.
“The forthcoming UK Government consultation on alcohol labelling is a key opportunity to take action to ensure we can all make better informed and healthier choices.”
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “Alcohol labelling in this country is failing to inform consumers about what exactly their drink contains. Displaying basic product information, such as calorie content, empowers the consumer to make informed choices about what, and how much, they decide to drink. This information should be displayed clearly on the product they are buying. They should not have to research basic health information online.
“The upcoming UK consultation on calorie labelling is a great opportunity for change. Requiring the display of calorie content on alcoholic drinks would bring alcohol labelling in line with food and soft drink labelling and would help to address the fact that most adults in the UK do not know the calorie content of alcohol.
“But the public is entitled to know more than just calorie content. It is concerning that only 18% of the public are aware of the CMOs’ drinking guideline. Including this essential health information on the label, along with other legible important health warnings and drink drive and pregnancy warnings, would help educate the public about the risks associated with drinking and could help reduce alcohol harm by prompting behaviour change.”
Holly Gabriel, Nutrition Manager at Action on Sugar, said: “We have long been subjected to inadequate and inconsistent labelling. It is absolutely unacceptable that the alcohol industry is able to get away with not providing full information on its packaging. This is misleading and must stop. Alcohol labelling must be brought into line with food and soft drinks, without delay.
“Previous research by Action on Sugar found excessive sugar content in pre-mixed alcoholic drinks and no clear labelling to guide purchasing decisions - with some drinks containing a whopping 15 teaspoons of sugar per pack, which is double the added sugar an adult should be having in one day."
 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The YouGov survey was conducted on behalf of Action on Smoking and Health. Total sample size was 12247 adults, of which 1021 were in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18/02/2021 - 18/03/2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
 Estimates for calorie content were deemed correct if they were within 50% of the true value. The answers to some questions do not add up to 100% due to rounding.
 Alcohol Health Alliance & Alcohol Change UK (2020) Drinking in the Dark: How Alcohol Labelling Fails Consumers