Think before you drink – it could be making you fat

WARNING A pint of beer can contain a similar number of calories as a slice of pizza, says Dr Denise Thomas.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (114076-1)
WARNING A pint of beer can contain a similar number of calories as a slice of pizza, says Dr Denise Thomas. Picture: Paul Jacobs (114076-1)

Community health day planned to educate residents

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YOU may have made your way through a mountain of mince pies and turkey with all the trimmings over Christmas.

And while you could be loosening a belt or button because of overindulging on festive food, spare a thought for the number of calories that are packed in alcoholic drinks.

As many people look to the new year for resolutions of losing weight, health experts are warning people of the hidden calories in booze, and to drink in moderation.

Doctor Denise Thomas, head of nutrition and dietetics at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, says people often do not release hidden calories being consumed within alcohol.

For example a pint of beer can have as many calories as a slice of pizza.

Dr Thomas said: ‘The issue with alcohol is people forget there are calories in it.

‘A lot of the drinks, especially alcopops are very sugary as well.

‘A 250ml serving of Bacardi Breezer will have 180 calories.

‘If you look at a glass of red wine, then a glass of 120ml has about 80 calories in it.

‘If you went for a sweeter wine then that can have up to 110 calories per glass.

‘An average pint of bitter will have about 130 calories, while Guinness has 200 calories.’

To try and put some of the drinks into perspective, Dr Thomas has shown what some drinks equate to in food.

‘A pint of lager can have 190 calories,’ she added.

‘So if you had three pints, that would be the equivalent of a meat and potato pie, two scoops of mash, vegetables and gravy.

‘A large glass of rose wine has 160 calories, which is equal to a slice of toast with marmalade. And having three glasses is like having a big sandwich and a packet of crisps. So if you imagine you go out for a curry and have a chicken tikka masala and three pints, then you’re looking at about 1,800 calories in one sitting.

‘That is a huge portion of your daily allowance, which is 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women.’

Excessive drinking can cause many health problems, and people are being reminded of them.

Dr Thomas said: ‘As well as putting on weight, drinking a lot can cause heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, asthma, or joint problems, so it’s better to drink in moderation.’