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Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jul;54(1):49-55.

Alcohol intake in relation to diet and obesity in women and men.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115-5899.


We studied relations between alcohol intake, body mass index, and diet in 89,538 women and 48,493 men in two cohort studies. Total energy increased with alcohol consumption (partial r = 0.11, P less than 0.001), and carbohydrate intake decreased from 153 g/d in abstainers to 131 g/d in women drinking 2.5.0-49.9 g alcohol/d. The decrease in carbohydrate intake was due mainly to decreased sugar consumption with higher alcohol intake (partial r = -0.05, P less than 0.001), reflecting decreased energy consumption from sources excluding alcohol. In men total energy increased with alcohol consumption (partial r = 0.19, P less than 0.001), from 7575.6 (abstainers) to 9821.5 kJ/d (greater than 50 g alcohol/d). Energy intake excluding alcohol varied little with alcohol intake (partial r = 0.003, P = 0.48) but sucrose intake decreased with higher alcohol intake. These data suggest that calories from alcohol were added to energy intake from other sources in men, and that in women, energy from alcohol intake displaced sucrose. The consumption of candy and sugar is inversely related to alcohol intake, raising the possibility that it is related to appetite for alcohol.

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