A new product survey conducted by Action on Sugar has shown that popular 'ready to drink' pre-mixed spirits and cocktails sold in supermarkets are extremely high in hidden sugar and calories.
To mark Sugar Awareness Week in January, Action on Sugar called on the new government to ensure that all alcoholic drinks are included in vital public health policies, and said that major UK retailers should be forced to reformulate their pre-mixed alcoholic drinks to the agreed criterion set by government in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) or pay the fine.
Some of the beverages surveyed contained nine teaspoons of sugar in just 250 ml (as well as alcohol) and nine out of ten pre-mixed spirits did not have on-pack sugar information.
WKD Blue contained 59 g of sugar in a 700 ml bottle - the equivalent of eating over four iced doughnuts in one sitting. Classic Combinations Pink Gin and Tonic contained 27 g of sugar in a 250 ml can, the same sugar content as Coca Cola.
Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director at Action on Sugar, based at Queen Mary University of London, said: '"Gin in a tin" has become a cultural phenomenon with these types of drinks often consumed "on the go" and 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 as only one in ten of the products surveyed had enough information available. If consumers knew how much sugar was really in these drinks, would they still happily choose to drink their way to tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes?'