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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul;66(7):813-8. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.20. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

The effect of current and lifetime alcohol consumption on overall and central obesity.

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Public Health Institute, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.



To evaluate the association between current and lifetime alcohol consumption, and overall and central obesity in adults of an urban Portuguese population.


Participants were randomly selected from the non-institutionalized Porto inhabitants, aged ≥18 years (EPIPorto Study: 1999-2003). The study included 2366 participants for evaluating current alcohol consumption and overall obesity, and 2377 participants for central obesity. A trained interviewer applied a questionnaire and anthropometrics were measured. Data on alcohol intake were obtained by using a food frequency questionnaire. Overall obesity was considered when body mass index was ≥30.0 kg/m(2), and central obesity when waist circumference (WC) was ≥88 cm in women and ≥102 cm in men. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated, separately by sex, using unconditional logistic regression models.


After adjustment for age, education, smoking, energy intake and regular physical exercise, men who consumed >60g/day of alcohol were more frequently obese compared with non-drinkers (OR=2.26, 95% CI: 1.17-4.35). When considering lifetime alcohol consumption, the magnitude of the association was stronger in both women (OR=2.41, 95% CI: 1.28-4.56) and men (OR=4.22, 95% CI: 1.93-9.24). For central obesity, women consuming 15.1-30 g/day and >30 g/day had higher probability of being obese, considering both current and lifetime alcohol consumption. In men, the same positive associations were observed, which were particularly stronger between lifetime alcohol consumption and central obesity (>60g/day vs non-drinkers: OR=4.02, 95% CI: 1.80-8.98).


Independently of social and behavioural features, current and lifetime alcohol consumption were positively associated with overall and central obesity, in both women and men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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