Victorians urged to cut back on drinking
Cancer Council Victoria is urging drinkers to beware of the hidden kilojoules in alcoholic beverages, as new figures reveal a few drinks after work could equal half a day's energy intakei.
An analysis of popular alcoholic drinks by Cancer Council Victoria has found that some drinks exceed 1,000kJs each – similar to a slice of takeaway pizza or a Mars Bar.
LiveLighter Campaign Manager and Accredited Practicing Dietitian Alison McAleese said many people don't realise that alcohol is high in kilojoules and can lead to weight gain.
Excessive consumption of alcohol, and being overweight or obese, are both factors that may increase an individual's risk of cancer.
"Just one can of rum and cola or vodka and citrus contains around 1,000kJ – if you're having four or more of these on a night out, you're adding a whopping 4,000kJs to your diet. That's almost half the daily intake of the average Australian adult," Ms McAleese said.
"To put it into perspective, 4,000kJs is the equivalent of eating either 20 chicken nuggets, 12 chocolate Paddle Pop ice-creams, three and a half cheeseburgers or five bowls of Froot Loops with milk.
"Most people wouldn't dream of eating such an excessive amount of junk food, yet many would easily drink the equivalent on a night out."
The Cancer Council Victoria analysis looked at the amount of kilojoules per serve in popular varieties of wine, beer, cider and premix spirits.
While premix spirits and cider were found to be the worst for our waistlines, beer and wine can also add several hundred extra kilojoules to our diets.
A full-strength stubby of beer contains as much as 640kJ, which is around the same amount of kilojoules as a deep fried dim sim. A 500mL bottle of cider meanwhile contains up to 875kJ, which is almost equal to the kilojoules in a traditional cinnamon Krispy Kreme donut.
"It's easy to see how the kilojoules from alcohol can quickly add up over the course of a night, a week or a month," Ms McAleese said.
"In fact, drinking just one stubby of beer a day could lead to around 5kg of weight gain in a year.
"Alcohol is high in kilojoules and also increases your risk of cancer. If you choose to drink, consume it occasionally and in small amounts."
Cancer Council Victoria Head of Prevention Craig Sinclair said 6 in 10 Victorian adults are drinking at levels that put them at risk of long-term harms.
"People who drink more than two standard drinks a day are risking more than just weight gain in the long-term," Mr Sinclair said.
"There is strong evidence that alcohol is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, liver, bowel and female breast.
"More than 3200, or 2.8 per cent, of the cases of cancer in Australia in 2010 were attributed to alcohol consumptionii and 3900 to overweight or obesityiii.
"Making simple lifestyle changes to reduce alcohol consumption and weight gain will help to prevent cancers attributed to alcohol and obesity."
Alison's top tips for drinking less
For more tips and information visit www.cutyourcancerrisk.org.au/kjs-in-alcohol.
About the research: Cancer Council Victoria used the Dan Murphy's and First Choice Liquor websites to determine the top 10 selling products in the following categories: premix dark spirits, premix light spirits, cider and beer. Cancer Council Victoria contacted the manufacturers of these drinks to request nutritional information. In the cases where the manufacturer did not provide the information, the nutritional data was sourced from the online CalorieKing Australia food database.
A summary of the five premix dark spirits, premix light spirits, cider and beer with the highest number of kilojoules (as determined by the research) is outlined in the table below.
Note to editors: The kilojoule information used for food comparisons was taken from the products' website. When kJ information was not available, data was sourced from the CalorieKing Australia food database .
i Based on a daily recommended kJ intake of 8,700kJ http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/daily-intake-guide/
ii Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to the consumption of alcohol, Aust N Z J Public Health 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26437723
iii Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to overweight
and obesity, Aust N Z J Public Health 2015 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26437731
What is cancer?
Cancer is a disease of the cells, which are the body’s basic building blocks.
Types of cancer
Information about the diagnosis and treatment of different cancer types.
Learn about cancer treatments and find your local treatment centre.
Learn more about advanced cancer.
Children, teens and young adults
Information about cancer in children, teens and young adults.
Genetics & risk
Information about genetics, family history and cancer.
Cancer information for aboriginal communities.
Early detection offers one of the best chances of cure.
Cut down on alcohol to reduce your risk of cancer.
Eat a healthy diet
Be a healthy weight
Convincing evidence links obesity to various cancers.
Be physically active
We're working to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Managing daily life
Common side effects
Learn about common side effects and ways to manage them.
Learn about common reactions to cancer diagnoses and how to adjust.
Learn about the importance of exercise including tips and examples.
Understanding grief and ways to live with the loss of a loved one.
Holidays and travel
Learn about insurance and tips for managing special occasions.
Learning to relax
Tips for ways to cope with the emotional impact of cancer.
Life after treatment
Information about the challenges you may face after treatment.
Understand more about nutrition and eating well during and after cancer treatment.
Sexuality and intimacy
Dealing with the ways cancer and treatment may affect your sexuality.
Contact our cancer nurses
Information and support 13 11 20 Support in your language 13 14 50 firstname.lastname@example.org
Family and friends
Learn more about supporting someone affected by cancer.
Holiday break program
Free short breaks for those affected by cancer and their families.
Connect and learn
Connect with others and participate in our free education programs.
Our wig service is free, private and personalised.
Legal and financial
Information and support programs related to legal and financial matters.
How to manage a work life and cancer.
Facing end of life
Learn about the physical and emotional impacts.
Cancer services guide
Cancer information and support services for Victorian Aboriginal communities.
Scientific work funded in universities, hospitals and research institutes.
Victorian Cancer Registry
We register details of all cancer diagnoses to keep statistics.
A centre studying population groups and their characteristics.
Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer
Find out more about CBRC.
Research from the Victorian Centre for Tobacco Control (VCTC).
Our Forgotten Cancers Program
Improving survival for less common and low survival cancers.
Meet our researchers
Team of researchers who have expanded our understanding of cancer.
In Australia, any research involving humans must consider ethics.
Search our research
Search the vast number of projects we've been involved in over the years.
Order free publications
Order a limited number of our free booklets and brochures.
Education & training
Education programs for people who work in a healthcare setting.
Cervical Screening Providers
Information for Nurse Cervical Screening providers.
Resources for dietitians
Network of specialist health care professionals.
Clinical practice guides
Optimal Care Pathways
Review of the Pathways (formerly Patient Management Frameworks).
Referral information for Legal and Financial Assistance Programs.
You can make secure donations online to fund a variety of projects.
Find a fundraising event to suit you.
Leave a gift in your Will
Volunteer with us
Join the fight against cancer and volunteer with us.
Become a corporate supporter
Donate a holiday
Upcoming events around Cancer Council Victoria.
Honour your loved one
Create a lasting space to remember your loved one or give in memory.
Give in celebration
Make a lasting contribution when you celebrate your next special occasion.
Fund a research award
Research awards are a chance to fund a specific type of cancer research.
Addresses, phone numbers, parking and public transport information.
Latest news and stories
News from Cancer Council Victoria and stories of those affected by cancer.
Latest media releases and contacts for media liaison.
What we do
Our strategic plan, outlining our mission, values, goals and priorities.
Find out about our governance and our board.
Annual review, newsletters, booklets, information sheets and videos.
Why work with us?
Interested in a career with Cancer Council Victoria? Find out more.
Download our detailed reports on our achievements each year.
Snapshots of people and events from our long history.
Aboriginal communities peoples' health is everyone's responsibility.
Culturally diverse communities
We work to reduce the impact of cancer in diverse communities.