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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38607. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038607. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Alcohol consumption and dietary patterns: the FinDrink study.

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  • 1Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.


The aim of this population-based study was to investigate differences in dietary patterns in relation to the level of alcohol consumption among Finnish adults. This study was part of the FinDrink project, an epidemiologic study on alcohol use among Finnish population. It utilized data from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. A total of 1720 subjects comprising of 816 men and 904 women aged 53-73 years were included in the study in 1998-2001. Food intake was collected via a 4-day food diary method. Self-reported alcohol consumption was assessed with quantity-frequency method based on the Nordic Alcohol Consumption Inventory. Weekly alcohol consumption was categorized into three groups: non-drinkers (<12 grams), moderate drinkers (12-167.9 grams for men, 12-83.9 grams for women) and heavy drinkers (≥ 168 grams for men, ≥ 84 grams for women). Data were analyzed for men and women separately using multiple linear regression models, adjusted for age, occupational status, marital status, smoking, body mass index and leisure time physical activity. In women, moderate/heavy drinkers had lower fibre intake and moderate drinkers had higher vitamin D intake than non-drinkers. Male heavy drinkers had lower fibre, retinol, calcium and iron intake, and moderate/heavy drinkers had higher vitamin D intake than non-drinkers. Fish intake was higher among women moderate drinkers and men moderate/heavy drinkers than non-drinkers. In men, moderate drinkers had lower fruit intake and heavy drinkers had lower milk intake than non-drinkers. Moderate drinkers had higher energy intake from total fats and monosaturated fatty acids than non-drinkers. In contrast, energy intake from carbohydrates was lower among moderate/heavy drinkers than non-drinkers. In conclusion, especially male heavy drinkers had less favorable nutritional intake than moderate and non-drinkers. Further studies on the relationship between alcohol consumption and dietary habits are needed to plan a comprehensive dietary intervention programs in future.

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