17 May 2016 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Long-term US trends in alcoholic beverage calorie intakes remain unexamined, particularly with respect to changes in population subgroup-specific patterns over time.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined shifts in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, in total and by beverage type, on any given day among US adults in relation to sociodemographic characteristics.

DESIGN: This study was a repeated cross-sectional analysis of data from the 1989-1991 and 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and the 2003-2006 and 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Adults aged >/=19 years (N=39,298) were targeted. A subset of alcoholic beverage consumers (n=7,081) were studied.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Survey weighted mean per capita per day intakes (among all participants, both consumers of alcoholic beverages and nonconsumers) and contributions of beer, wine, and liquor/mixed drinks to total alcoholic beverage energy were determined. Multivariable regression models were used to examine trends in the proportion of alcoholic beverage consumers and the per consumer intakes (among consumers of alcoholic beverages only). RESULTS: Per capita intakes from alcoholic beverages increased from 49 kcal/capita/day in 1989-1991 to 109 kcal/capita/day in 2003-2006 (P<0.001). The proportion consuming alcoholic beverages on any given day increased significantly from 1989-1991 to 2009-2012 (P for overall increasing trend <0.0001) for most sociodemographic subgroups. Per consumer, alcoholic beverage calories increased between 1989-1991 and 1994-1996 (P<0.05) for many subpopulations. Adults with less than high school education were less likely to consume alcohol, yet had higher per consumer calorie intakes compared with adults with a college degree. Women and adults aged >/=60 years experienced a shift away from liquor/mixed drinks toward wine between 2003-2006 and 2009-2012. Beer contributed roughly 70% to total alcoholic beverage intake for less educated consumers across time.

CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate there has been an increase in the proportion of US adults who drink on any given day and an increase in calories consumed from alcoholic beverages when drinking occurs.

21 April 2016 In General Health

There has been a call for reduced alcohol consumption among Americans in recent years as many drink above the recommended moderate drinking guidelines. Specifically, national public health goals include reducing the proportion of persons engaging in heavy episodic drinking and excessive drinking, as well as reducing the overall annual alcohol consumption. American dietary guidelines assert alcohol-attributed calories should be limited as alcohol is grouped into the allotment of calories associated with non-nutrient-dense foods. Based on current consumption trends, alcohol will likely remain a significant contributor to the overall caloric intake and diet of persons in the USA. This paper outlines the ramifications of alcohol as food/calories and also discusses evidence which highlights behaviors that people engage to offset consumption of alcohol-related calories. Implications include a discussion on how alcohol influences metabolic processes, results in an imbalanced diet, and exhibits a potential to lead to both malnutrition and weight gain.

21 April 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

To examine the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and adolescent alcoholic beverage preferences and the associated drinking patterns in China. The study used cross-sectional data collected from 136 junior or senior high schools, using a self-administered questionnaire. A total number of 7,075 subjects of drinking students were selected from three metropolises (Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou) via a two-stage stratified sampling method. Among the adolescent drinkers, 87.8% (95% CI: 86.5-89.0) reported that they drunk alcohol during the past years preceding the study, while 42.4% (95% CI: 40.4-44.4) of the subjects stated that they had drunk alcohol during the past 30 days. There were gradual increases in the usual quantity (>1 Standard Drink, SD) of alcoholic beverages with increasing SES, with highest rates reported by the high-level SES. Beer and grape wine were the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, regardless of SES. Our findings suggest that high-level SES students have an increasing prevalence of drinking behaviour. Their confirmation by future studies which extend the sampling regions is required to further the prevention of adolescent alcohol abuse in China.

22 March 2016 In General Health

PURPOSE: This work was aimed to study the relationships of moderate alcohol intake and the type of beverages consumed with health behaviors and quality of life in elderly people.

METHODS: In this observational study, 231 subjects (55-85 years) voluntarily answering to advertisements were enrolled and divided in three study groups: abstainers and occasional consumers (ABS; n = 98), moderate drinkers of beer (BEER; n = 63) and moderate drinkers of all sorts of alcoholic beverages (MIXED; n = 70). Variables assessed included physical activity, activities of daily living, Mediterranean diet-adherence score, tobacco consumption, quality of sleep, body composition, medication and perception of health through the SF-36 questionnaire. Their relationship with alcohol consumption was assessed through general linear models including confounding variables (age, sex, chronic disease prevalence and socioeconomic status). ABS were also compared to moderate drinkers (MOD = BEER + MIXED).

RESULTS: The mean daily alcohol consumption in each group was (mean +/- SD): ABS: 0.7 +/- 1.1; BEER: 12.7 +/- 8.1; MIXED: 13.9 +/- 10.2 g/day. MOD and MIXED showed significantly higher physical activity (metabolic standard units; METs) than ABS (p = 0.023 and p = 0.004, respectively). MOD spent significantly less time doing housework activities than ABS (p = 0.032). Daily grams of alcohol consumption were significantly associated with METs (B = 21.727, p = 0.023). Specifically, wine consumption (g/day) was associated with METs (B = 46.196, p = <0.001) and showed borderline significant relationships with mental health (B = 0.245, p = 0.062) and vitality perception (B = 0.266, p = 0.054).

CONCLUSION: Moderate alcohol consumption, and in particular wine consumption, is associated with a more active lifestyle and better perception of own health in the Spanish elderly subjects studied.

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