Action on Sugar calls for pre-mixed alcoholic drinks to fall under sugar tax
Pre-mixed alcoholic drinks sold in supermarkets contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar in 250ml, new research shows.
Action on Sugar, who carried out the study, consequently believes the alcoholic drinks should now come under the sugar tax.
It points to a double hit to consumer’s health, coming from both the sugar and the alcohol.
‘Consumers drink these “on the go” without a moment’s consideration to how much sugar and alcohol goes into making them.
‘Even if you did want to know, you can’t make a healthy choice.
‘Only one in 10 of the products surveyed had enough information available.
‘If consumers knew how much sugar was really in these alcoholic drinks, would they still happily choose to drink their way to tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes?’
Of the 202 alcoholic drinks Action on Sugar surveyed, only 9% included information about sugar on the pack.
Experts called the sugar content unnecessarily high in some alcoholic drinks, with sugar alternatives readily available.
Action on Sugar believes the government should now extend its fight against obesity to the alcohol industry.
‘Pre-mixed spirit drinks are taxed through alcohol duties,’ a Treasury spokeswoman told the Guardian.
‘These are at a significantly higher rate than the childhood obesity-focused soft drinks industry levy.
‘They raise over £12bn a year, which helps pay for vital public services such as the NHS.’
Of the products tested, Tesco strawberry daiquiri frozen alcoholic sorbet contained the highest concentration of sugar at 36 grams.
Archers schnapps and Malibu lemonade and cola followed closely behind with 33g per 250ml can.
‘It is a national scandal that because these drinks contain alcohol,’ chairman Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said to the BBC.
‘They are not subject to the sugar tax or any form of coherent nutrition labelling.
‘The new government needs to act now by taking control of the alcohol industry and stop them from exploiting vulnerable young adults.’