A Newtownabbey teenager is calling on drinks manufacturers to show nutritional values on alcoholic beverages, as she wants to make people aware of their high sugar content.
Meghan Hope, 17, was inspired to speak out after someone she is close to was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes following years of heavy drinking.
Meghan explained: “Someone I know suffers from alcoholism and they were diagnosed with diabetes around two years ago.
“They were not aware of what they were drinking and the sugar content.
“It’s worrying because we don’t know what their sugar levels are, especially when they’re drinking alcohol daily.
“I feel people already know that abusing alcohol can give you liver failure, but what they don’t know is that it can also give you diabetes and other health problems.”
With the help of Fixers, the charity that gives young people a voice, Meghan has created a poster campaign to get her message across.
The poster states that two pints of beer have the same amount of calories as 1.2 burgers and urges people to ‘Think What You Drink’.
Meghan’s campaign is supported by Dr Brid Farrell, Consultant in Public Health Medicine.
Dr Farrell commented: “Alcohol contains a lot of calories and consuming excess calories raises your body weight and makes you more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
“People often put on weight when they start drinking for the first time. That puts them at risk of developing diabetes in middle life.”
Meghan added: “I hope if people realise what they are drinking, that maybe they will think twice.
“It’s never too late to make a difference to either your life or someone else’s.”
Fixers works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK and provides them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.
To find out more, or to make a donation, log on to www.fixers.org.uk