It concluded that not only was there a wide variation of sugar and calories across different wines but that consumers were “being kept in the dark” about what they were drinking as crucial information was missing from most labels.
Consumer information, it said, was “woefully inadequate,” the report said.
Government guidelines recommend adults should consume no more than 30g of so-called free sugars per day. The AHA study showed it was possible to reach almost this entire amount by drinking two medium glasses of wine.
But not only was sugar content high — the study also showed that just two medium-sized glasses of the most calorific wines analyzed contained more calories than a McDonald’s burger.
The AHA analysis suggested many of the most sugar-packed wines were the ones which had the lowest strength of alcohol while wines with high calorie content tended to be higher strength drinks.
It said that with no legal requirement to display sugar content on alcohol labels, drinkers may opt for a lower-strength alcohol thinking that this was a healthier option — but could unwittingly be upping their daily sugar intake, the report said.
None of the 30 products examined in the study displayed sugar content on their labels — information which is required for all non-alcoholic drinks.
Calorie content was only displayed on 20 percent of the labels examined.