A new government study is targeting our precious alcohol and has found that adults get nearly as many empty calories from the nectar of the gods as they do from soda... NO ONE TELL BLOOMBERG. This information isn't really shocking, of course, but it does have the AP asking, "Should New York officials now start cracking down on tall-boy beers and monster margaritas?" Shhhhhhh, AP, shhhhhhh.
Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says, "In New York City, it was smart to start with sugary drinks. Let's see how it goes and then think about next steps." However, she notes the current system of only focusing on soda could be flawed—"the Obama administration is planning to exempt alcoholic beverages from proposed federal regulations requiring calorie labeling on restaurant menus... It could set up a confusing scenario in which, say, a raspberry iced tea may have a calorie count listed, while an alcohol-laden Long Island Iced Tea—with more than four times as many calories—doesn't." Our own research, based on common sense, shows that if you avoid novelty drinks like Long Island Iced Teas or anything served at Guy Fieri's restaurant then you'll be just fine.
So what did the study really find? Sweetened drinks like soda account for 6% of the calories adults consume on average, while alcoholic beverages account for about 5%. It also found that the average man consumes 150 calories, or one beer, per day, while the average woman drinks just 50 calories a day (that's about half a glass of wine). Half a glass of wine—what kind of teetotaling pool did they get these participants from?