23 November 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a discretionary, energy dense, dietary component. Compared to non-drinkers, people who consume alcohol report higher total energy intake and may be at increased risk of weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are key preventable risk factors for illness. However, accurate consumer knowledge of the energy content in alcohol is low. To inform future behaviour change interventions among drinkers, this study investigated individual characteristics associated with changing alcohol consumption due to energy-related concerns.

METHODS: An online survey was undertaken with 801 Australian adult drinkers (18-59 years, 50.2% female), i.e. who consumed alcohol at least monthly. In addition to demographic and health-related characteristics, participants reported past-year alcohol consumption, past-year reductions in alcohol consumption, frequency of harm minimisation strategy use (when consuming alcohol), and frequency of changing alcohol consumption behaviours because of energy-related concerns.

RESULTS: When prompted, 62.5% of participants reported changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons at least 'sometimes'. Women, those aged 30-44 years, metropolitan residents, those with household income $80,001-120,000, and risky/more frequent drinkers had increased odds of changing consumption because of energy-related concerns, and unemployed respondents had reduced odds.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that some sociodemographic groups are changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons, but others are not, representing an underutilised opportunity for health promotion communication. Further research should investigate whether messaging to increase awareness of alcohol energy content, including through systems-based policy actions such as nutritional/energy product labelling, would motivate reduced consumption across a broader range of drinkers.

23 November 2022 In Cancer

Obesity and alcohol consumption are both important modifiable risk factors for cancer. We examined the joint association of adiposity and alcohol consumption with alcohol- and obesity-related cancer incidence. This prospective cohort study included cancer-free UK Biobank participants aged 40-69 years. Alcohol consumption was categorised based on current UK guidelines into four groups. We defined three markers of adiposity: body fat percentage (BF %), waist circumference and BMI and categorised each into three groups. We derived a joint alcohol consumption and adiposity marker variable with twelve mutually exclusive categories. Among 399 575 participants, 17 617 developed alcohol-related cancer and 20 214 developed obesity-related cancer over an average follow-up of 11.8 (SD 0.9) years. We found relatively weak evidence of independent associations of alcohol consumption with cancer outcomes. However, the joint association analyses showed that across all adiposity markers, above guideline drinkers who were in the top two adiposity groups had elevated cancer incidence risk (e.g. HR for alcohol-related cancer was 1.53 (95 % CI (1.24, 1.90)) for within guideline drinkers and 1.61 (95 % CI (1.30, 2.00)) for above guideline drinkers among participants who were in the top tertile BF %. Regardless of alcohol consumption status, the risk of obesity-related cancer increased with higher adiposity in a dose-response manner within alcohol consumption categories. Our study provides guidance for public health priorities aimed at lowering population cancer risk via two key modifiable risk factors.

28 April 2022 In General Health

Findings from earlier studies on the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of overweight/obesity were inconsistent. We summarized cohort studies investigating the association between the Mediterranean diet and risk of overweight and/or obesity and weight change in adults. A systematic search of PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar was conducted up to May 2021.

Prospective cohorts that examined the Mediterranean diet adherence in adults as the exposure, and overweight and/or obesity or weight change as the outcomes, and reported RRs or beta coefficients and 95% CIs as the effect sizes were included. Seven prospective cohort studies were included of which 6 studies (with 244,678 adult participants) reported the risk of overweight and/or obesity, and 4 cohorts (with 436,617 participants) reported the weight change (3 cohorts reported both overweight and/or obesity risk and weight change).

Combining 15 effect sizes from 6 cohorts revealed that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with a 9% decreased risk of overweight and/or obesity (RR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.94; I2 = 44.7%; PQ-test = 0.031). This association was significant in the case of studies investigating combined overweight and obesity (RR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.96; I2 = 29.4%; PQ-test = 0.166), but not for studies that reported on obesity (RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.43, 1.10, I2 = 50.6%, PQ-test = 0.132).

Linear dose-response analysis of 6 studies showed a 2% decreased risk of overweight and/or obesity for 1 additional Mediterranean diet score (RR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96, 0.99). Each unit increase in the Mediterranean diet score was associated with 0.04 kg less weight gain over 5 y (-0.04 kg; 95% CI: -0.07, -0.02 kg; 13 effect sizes from 4 cohorts).

In conclusion, Mediterranean diet adherence is inversely associated with risk of overweight and/or obesity as well as 5-y weight gain and thus has practical importance for public health.

22 March 2022 In General Health

Findings from earlier studies on the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of overweight/obesity were inconsistent. We summarized cohort studies investigating the association between the Mediterranean diet and risk of overweight and/or obesity and weight change in adults. A systematic search of PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar was conducted up to May 2021.

Prospective cohorts that examined the Mediterranean diet adherence in adults as the exposure, and overweight and/or obesity or weight change as the outcomes, and reported RRs or beta coefficients and 95% CIs as the effect sizes were included. Seven prospective cohort studies were included of which 6 studies (with 244,678 adult participants) reported the risk of overweight and/or obesity, and 4 cohorts (with 436,617 participants) reported the weight change (3 cohorts reported both overweight and/or obesity risk and weight change).

Combining 15 effect sizes from 6 cohorts revealed that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with a 9% decreased risk of overweight and/or obesity (RR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.94; I2 = 44.7%; PQ-test = 0.031). This association was significant in the case of studies investigating combined overweight and obesity (RR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.96; I2 = 29.4%; PQ-test = 0.166), but not for studies that reported on obesity (RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.43, 1.10, I2 = 50.6%, PQ-test = 0.132). Linear dose-response analysis of 6 studies showed a 2% decreased risk of overweight and/or obesity for 1 additional Mediterranean diet score (RR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96, 0.99). Each unit increase in the Mediterranean diet score was associated with 0.04 kg less weight gain over 5 y (-0.04 kg; 95% CI: -0.07, -0.02 kg; 13 effect sizes from 4 cohorts).

In conclusion, Mediterranean diet adherence is inversely associated with risk of overweight and/or obesity as well as 5-y weight gain and thus has practical importance for public health.

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