As if nobody had ever heard of a beer gut, the government are now launching a publicity campaign to inform people of the number of calories in alcoholic drinks. “Ministers are concerned that the average wine drinker now consumes around 2,000 calories from alcohol alone each month” – given that 2,000 calories is less than a thirtieth of the typical monthly intake, what on earth is there to worry about? I’m sure I consume far more than 2,000 calories from alcohol every week.
Although such scares are easy to dismiss, the problem is that they add to the steady drip-drip-drip of negative perceptions of drink. Committed boozers won’t be bothered, but those who are keen to “do the right thing” and follow official advice will be swayed, even though they probably don’t drink enough in the first place for it to be a problem. It is yet another small step towards the denormalisation of alcohol.