02 August 2016 In General Health

The global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol launched in 2010 by the World Health Organization includes, amongst several areas of recommended actions, providing consumer information about, and labelling, alcoholic beverages to indicate alcohol-related harm. Labelling requirements worldwide for alcoholic drinks are currently quite diverse and somewhat limited compared to labelling on food products and on tobacco. In this context, the current paper contributes to the academic and political debate on the inclusion of nutritional and health information on wine labelling, providing some insights into consumer interest in, and preferences for, such information in four core wine-producing and -consuming countries: Italy, France, Spain, and the United States of America. A rating-based conjoint analysis was performed in order to ascertain consumer preferences for different formats of additional information on wine labels, and a segmentation of the sample was performed to determine the existence of homogeneous groups of consumers in relation to the degrees of usefulness attached to the nutritional and health information on wine labels. Our results highlight the interest expressed by European and United States consumers for introducing nutrition and health information on wine labels. However, the results of conjoint analysis show some significant differences among stated preferences of the information delivery modes in different countries. In addition, segmentation analysis reveal the existence of significant differences between consumer groups with respect to their interest in receiving additional information on wine labels. These differences are not only linked to the geographic origin of the consumers, or to socio-demographic variables, but are also related to wine consumption habits, attitudes towards nutritional information, and the degree of involvement with wine. This heterogeneity of consumer preferences indicates a need for a careful consideration of wine labelling regulations and merits further investigation in order to identify labelling guidelines in terms of the message content and presentation method to be used.

02 August 2016 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The ingestion of small to moderate alcohol consumption amounts has been associated to cardiovascular protection. This study aimed to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption and coronary artery disease severity.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional Study with patients undergoing coronary angiography. Age, cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, systemic arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes) and alcohol drinking habit were investigated. Alcohol consumption was divided in three categories: nondrinker, moderate alcohol consumption (less than 15 g ethanol/day for women or 30 g ethanol/day for men) and heavy alcohol consumption. Coronary artery disease severity was assessed through the Friesinger Score (FS) in the coronary angiography, by interventional cardiologists blinded to alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: The final sample included 363 adults; of those, 228 were men (62.81%). Mean age was 60.5 +/- 10.9 y. Unadjusted analyses identified sex, age, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and alcohol consumption as the main covariates associated with the Friesinger score. Lower Friesinger scores were also observed in moderate alcohol consumption when comparing to those who do not drink (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.79-0.95).

CONCLUSION: Among patients with suspected coronary artery disease undergoing coronary angiography, moderate alcohol consumption is associated to a lower coronary artery disease severity than heavy drinking.

28 June 2016 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: The preference for a specific alcoholic beverage may be related to an individual's overall lifestyle and health. The objective was to investigate associations between alcoholic beverage preference and several cardiometabolic and lifestyle factors, including adiposity, cholesterol, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), liver enzymes and dietary patterns.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: The Dutch Longitudinal Nutrition Questionnaires plus (NQplus) Study. PARTICIPANTS: 1653 men and women aged 20-77 years.

METHODS: Diet, including alcohol, was assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire. Based on the average number of reported glasses of alcoholic beverage, a person was classified as having a preference for beer, wine, spirit/no specific preference, or as a non-consumer. Mixed linear models were used to calculate crude and adjusted means of cardiometabolic and lifestyle factors across alcoholic beverage preference categories.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, lipids, HbA1c, albumin, creatinine, uric acid, liver enzymes and dietary patterns.

RESULTS: In the study population, 43% had a wine preference, 13% a beer preference, 29% had a spirit or no specific preference, and 15% did not consume alcohol. Men who preferred wine had lowest measures of adiposity; the preference for alcoholic beverages was not associated with adiposity measures in women. Wine consumers had higher high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, lower HbA1c and were more likely to follow the 'Salad' pattern. Beer consumers had highest levels of triglycerides and liver enzymes, and had higher scores for the 'Meat' and 'Bread' pattern.

CONCLUSIONS: Few differences in dietary patterns across alcoholic beverage preference categories were observed. Those differences in cardiometabolic parameters that were observed according to alcoholic beverage preference, suggested that wine consumers have a better health status than beer consumers.

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.

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