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Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2017 Jun;37(6):194-200. doi: 10.24095/hpcdp.37.6.03.

Estimating how extra calories from alcohol consumption are likely an overlooked contributor to youth obesity.

[Article in English, French; Abstract available in French from the publisher]

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1
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

in English, French

INTRODUCTION:

Youth obesity rates in Canada continue to rise. In this study, we produced conservative estimates of the potential excess calories from alcohol use across different alcohol consumption patterns common among Canadian youth to assess whether alcohol use should be considered in future obesity prevention strategies.

METHODS:

Using data from 10 144 Grade 12 students participating in the COMPASS study (2013/14), we estimated the number of calories consumed per year from alcohol consumption. Our estimates were based on three different generic types of alcoholic beverages, which were grouped according to average calorie content (vodka coolers; beer [5%]; and beer [4%], wine and liquor) across different frequencies of alcohol use and binge drinking.

RESULTS:

Results indicated high potential caloric intake for students who binge drank, as well as high variability in the estimates for calories consumed based on common consumption patterns for the different beverage types. For instance, 27.2% of students binge drank once per month, meaning they consumed between 6000 and 13 200 calories in one year (equivalent to 0.78 - 1.71 kg of fat). For the 4.9% of students who binge drank twice per week, the total calories in one year would range from 52 000 to 114 400 (equivalent to 6.74 - 14.83 kg of fat).

CONCLUSION:

Current recommendations for preventing youth obesity do not generally include any consideration of alcohol use. The high prevalence of frequent alcohol consumption and binge drinking by youth in this study and the substantial number of calories contained in alcoholic beverages suggest alcohol use among youth may warrant consideration in relation to youth obesity prevention.

KEYWORDS:

alcohol use; binge drinking; energy intake; extra calories; obesity; prevention strategies; weight gain; youth

PMID:
28614047
DOI:
10.24095/hpcdp.37.6.03
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors state that they have no competing interests in this work.

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