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So many burgers do Norwegians drink each year

Tine Sundfør and Inger Lise Hansen

01.12.2023 - Clinical nutritionist with a Ph.D. in nutrition, Tine Sundfør, has calculated on behalf of Actis how many extra calories we Norwegians consume through our alcohol intake. The answer is astonishing: Norwegians consume a total of 52,000 extra calories a year through their alcohol intake. This is equivalent to 242 hamburgers, 468 PinUp ice lollies, or 248 half-liters of Coca Cola. Assuming this comes from beer consumption (regular pilsner with 4.7% alcohol), this would amount to a total of 82,000 (!) calories. The calculation is based on figures from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (2021), which show that Norwegians over 15 years of age drink an average of 7.44 liters of pure alcohol per person. If the intake is distributed among those who actually drink alcohol, the number is higher.

Clinical nutritionist Tine Sundfør, who conducted the calculation, believes that even though many are aware that alcohol contains calories, most would be surprised at how many calories a few beers or a couple of drinks actually make up.

'One thing is the calories in what you drink, but in addition, it often tastes extra good with some potato chips or salted nuts with the beer, or perhaps a kebab on the way home from town. And yes, alcohol can increase appetite partly because it reduces the amount of the satiety hormone GLP-1,' she adds.

Labeling must be implemented

Inger Lise Hansen, Secretary-General, believes the figures underscore the need for alcohol labeling.

'If I buy a bottle of water, I find a list of contents on the water bottle. If I buy a bottle of wine, however, it is not common to have an overview of ingredients and calories. Alcoholic beverages are the only product where you are not guaranteed to know what you are consuming. How long should consumers have to wait to get this information?'

She believes that labeling must become part of the government's measures to achieve the goals in the Public Health Report.

'When over a third of the population drinks alcohol weekly, we need better information about how many calories and how much sugar we consume through alcoholic beverages.'"

Source: Actis

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