Booze Drinkers Consume an Average of 75,000 Calories a Year

That’s equivalent to 293 Big Macs

Group of friends toasting beer glasses
Those liquid calories really do add up
Getty Images

In some lightly shocking news, a new study by DrinkWell — a UK-based retailer that features lower-calorie alcoholic beverages — uncovered just how many calories that alcohol drinkers consume per year. That astronomical number is 75,000, which is the same as eating 293 Big Macs, 263 slices of pizza or 1,000 cookies in the same 365 days. Needless to say, those numbers are, well, huge.

It’s difficult to know just how many calories you’re consuming when drinking because the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) doesn’t require brands to post nutritional labels on alcoholic beverages. There are consumer advocate groups who want that to change, but unsurprisingly, most suppliers, distillers, brewers and winemakers don’t like the idea of mandatory labels — some actually argue that this would make people think the alcohol they’re consuming is actually nutritious, which is ridiculous, but I digress. 

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It seems alcohol nutrition labels aren’t showing up anytime soon, so how can you know how many calories you’re actually consuming in that cocktail, beer or glass of wine? The answer is murky because calorie count varies greatly between beverages. On average, a 12-ounce can of light beer is about 100 calories, but as the ABV climbs to between seven and 10% alcohol, a 12-ounce beer can clock in between 200-300 calories. A six-ounce glass of wine typically has about 150 calories, but again, that number goes up with the ABV. As a general rule of thumb, more alcohol means more calories. So yes, an overproof whiskey is going to be more caloric than a dram that’s 80-proof.

We used to think that a little alcohol (hi red wine) was healthy, but recent studies have shown that really all drinking is bad for you. That said, you have to enjoy life and treat yourself to the things that make you happy. The best thing we can all do is be more mindful about alcohol consumption but enjoy that Martini if we really want one.


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