Alcohol is a widely consumed psychoactive substance that contributes to substantial health and social problems. Harms range from unhealthy weight gain from liquid calories to several types of cancer. Since the pandemic began, about one-third of people surveyed are drinking more. But few people understand the risks involved in drinking alcohol.
To investigate how alcohol container labels can be used to build public awareness, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction commissioned Enhanced Alcohol Container Labels: A Systematic Review and developed a summary of the report’s highlights. These findings will be useful for public health stakeholders, researchers and policy makers considering the evidence on alcohol container labels.
Key findings include:
- In Canada, alcohol containers are not required to display information like the nutrition information on food or the health warnings on medications and other regulated substances like tobacco or cannabis.
- Alcohol container labels in Canada lack information that would help people make more informed decisions about their alcohol consumption.
- Evidence suggests there is public support for alcohol drink labels with nutrition information, health warnings, standard drink sizes and low-risk drinking guidelines.
- Such labels can improve consumer knowledge of alcohol-related risks and, in some cases, decrease alcohol purchases and amounts consumed.
Enhanced alcohol container labels are one way to provide critical information to help people living in Canada who drink alcohol to make informed and healthier decisions about their consumption. They should continue to be studied, especially in real-world settings, to inform labelling standards and policies.
This document summarizes key findings from the technical report of the same name that analyzes the published research on alcohol labels with nutrition information, health warnings, standard drink information and low-risk drinking guidelines.
This document analyzes the published research on alcohol labels with nutrition information, health warnings, standard drink information and low-risk drinking guidelines. Key findings show alcohol drink labels with this information improve consumer knowledge of alcohol-related risks, and, in some studies, decrease the intention to buy or drink alcohol, and the total amount of alcohol consumed. Evidence suggests there is public support for adding alcohol drink labels with this information.