Ingredient and nutrition information labelling of alcoholic beverages: do consumers want it?

Kypros Kypri, Alexandra McManus, Peter M Howat, Bruce R Maycock, Jonathan D Hallett and Tanya N Chikritzhs
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01469.x
Published online: 3 December 2007

To the Editor: In Australia, the packaging of alcoholic beverages, unlike that of non-alcoholic beverages, is not required to display a list of ingredients or nutritional information, such as the amount of sugar, calories, and any preservatives contained in the drink.1 It is possible that consumers, especially some population groups such as weight-conscious young women, might be less inclined to drink as much alcohol if they knew the calorie content of what they were consuming. There has been no published research on whether Australian consumers want this information.

  • 1 School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.
  • 2 Injury Prevention Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • 3 Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA.
  • 4 Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA.
  • 5 National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA.


Our study was funded by Healthway, the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation. We are grateful to Professor John Langley for comments on a draft.

  • 1. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. User guides to the new Food Standards Code. (accessed Jul 2007).
  • 2. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian alcohol guidelines: health risks and benefits. Canberra: NHMRC, 2001.
  • 3. Kaskutas LA. Interpretations of risk: the use of scientific information in the development of the alcohol warning label policy. Int J Addict 1995; 30: 1519-1548.
  • 4. Babor T, Caetano R, Casswell S, et al. Alcohol: no ordinary commodity. Research and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.


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