Almost half of UK consumers (45%) are trying to lose weight, and nearly two thirds (62%) are worried about their bank balance, yet many don't make the connection between their drinking and an expanding waistline or empty wallet, according to new research released today by alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware.*

The study of 2000 UK adults, released to coincide with the launch of the charity's new online tool MyDrinkaware, found that while almost a third (30%) of people plan to monitor their calorie intake over the next month, only one in ten (11%) are thinking about tracking the amount of alcohol they drink. The majority (73%) would choose to save money by cutting back on eating out, buying clothes or going on holiday, rather than reducing the amount of alcohol they buy. So, despite such an interest in calorie-counting and personal finance, people could be inadvertently hampering their efforts to stay in shape, physically and financially, if they're drinking too much.

Although alcohol has almost as many calories as pure fat, when asked to identify the number of calories in their favourite drinks, less than a third (29%) of adults know how many calories are in a standard (175ml) glass of wine (134 calories). In contrast, two-fifths (40%) understand their recommended daily allowance for food, and nearly half (42%) know how many calories are in a cheeseburger (377 calories).

So to help consumers better understand the effects of drinking alcohol on their health and all-round wellbeing, Drinkaware has developed MyDrinkaware - an easy-to-use online unit calculator and drink diary. The tool provides personalised feedback on risk levels based on consumers' alcohol consumption and shows data in units, calories and spend. For instance, the tool equates alcohol intake into 'burger' equivalents - with a pint of 4% beer or two double gin and tonics comparable to around one burger. MyDrinkaware also lets people set spending and lifestyle goals and gives tips on how to reach these.

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:

"We know that people understand calories better than they understand units, and this study shows that when it comes to tracking their alcohol consumption, many people have a 'blind spot'. While they might make healthy lifestyle choices in other areas of their life, they might not know that sharing a bottle of wine with their partner exceeds the daily unit guidelines** and is the equivalent of eating a slice of cheesecake.

"MyDrinkaware is a great way for people to keep track of the role alcohol is playing in key areas of their lives. The tips and advice can help consumers make small positive changes now which will have a big impact in the future. Having a mobile version of the tool also means people can track their drinking on the go - making it even easier to stick to their targets and meet their goals."

To try MyDrinkaware for yourself visit here. Every person who signs up to MyDrinkaware between May 23rd and August 31st 2011 will be entered into a draw to win one of three spa weekends. One prize will be given away each month.