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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2002 Feb;26(2):218-22.

Beverage choice among native american and african american urban women.

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Alcohol Research Group, Berkeley, California 94709-2176, USA.



Little is known about beverage preference, especially among understudied urban minority populations. Also, most studies do not differentiate between beer and malt liquor or among wine, wine coolers, and fortified wine. This article examines whether ethnicity or drinking frequency are associated with beverage choice, considering six types of alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, spirits, malt liquor, fortified wine, and wine coolers.


Data were analyzed from Native American (n = 70) and African American (n = 129) urban pregnant women who reported drinking in the 12 months before an index pregnancy. A small comparison group of white women (n = 22) was included. Women were queried about their consumption of each of six beverage types during the 12 months before pregnancy.


The alcoholic beverage most often used, adjusted for other beverages consumed, was beer, followed in order by spirits, wine coolers, malt liquor, wine, and fortified wine. The Native American women preferred beer, which accounted for one third of total intake. In contrast, malt liquor and spirits each accounted for approximately a quarter of intake among African Americans. Compared with other drinkers, women who drank daily were significantly more likely to choose the beer and wine products with a higher alcohol content. In general, these bivariate results were borne out by multivariate analyses that controlled for age, marital status, and education.


These findings suggest that when accuracy is desired, alcohol studies focusing on urban African American samples (and, to a lesser degree, Native American respondents) should consider not just beer, wine, and spirits consumption, but also stronger beer products, such as malt liquor; stronger wine products, such as fortified wine; and sweeter products, such as wine coolers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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