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BMC Fam Pract. 2005 Apr 22;6(1):17.

Frequency of alcohol use and obesity in community medicine patients.

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  • 1Health Services Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas, USA. james.rohrer@ttuhsc.edu



Obesity is an important public health problem. However, the effects of alcohol use on the risk for obesity have not been thoroughly explored. This study focuses on how frequency of alcohol use is related to the risk of obesity in a community medicine clinic population.


This study used a cross-sectional survey to test the hypothesis that obesity (BMI > 30) is associated with alcohol use. The convenience sample was drawn from three clinics that primarily serve low-income populations. Independent variables included frequency of alcohol use, frequency of binge drinking, demographic characteristics, health behaviors and health status.


In comparison to non-drinkers, people who consumed alcohol 3 or more days per month had lower odds of being obese (Adjusted Odds Ratio = .49, p < .04). As expected, there was a significant association between watching eight or more hours of television per day and obesity (AOR = 2.34, p < .01).


More frequent drinking and less television time are independently associated with reduced odds of obesity in this sample of community medicine patients. Additional research is needed to isolate casual mechanisms.

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