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Alcohol beverage drinking, diet and body mass index in a cross-sectional survey


Objective: The study was carried out to determine the associations of alcohol beverage drinking with macronutrients, antioxidants, and body mass index. Setting: Dietary subsample of the 1992 Finmonica cardiovascular risk factor survey in Finland; a cross-sectional study. Subjects: 985 women and 863 men were drawn from the population register in the four monitoring areas. All subjects were 25–64 y of age. Methods: The mailed questionnaire included questions covering socioeconomic factors, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The diet was assessed using a three-day food record. Results: The dietary differences between abstainers and alcohol consumers were more significant than between consumers of different alcoholic beverages. Among drinkers, fat intake as a percentage of energy was higher and carbohydrate intake was lower than among abstainers. Those who preferred wine, however, had the highest vitamin C intake; female wine drinkers also had the highest carotenoid intake. With the exception of those who mainly preferred spirits, alcohol energy was not added to the diet but seemed to substitute food items both in men and women. Despite the similar total daily energy intakes, daily energy expenditure, and physical activity index, male drinkers were leaner than abstainers. In women, the proportion of underreporters of energy intake increased with increasing alcohol consumption, and the association between alcohol and body mass index was similar to that in men after the exclusion of underreporters. Conclusions: Alcohol consumers were leaner than abstainers, and wine drinkers in particular had more antioxidants in their diet. Sponsorship: The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies.

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Correspondence to S Männistö.

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Männistö, S., Uusitalo, K., Roos, E. et al. Alcohol beverage drinking, diet and body mass index in a cross-sectional survey. Eur J Clin Nutr 51, 326–332 (1997).

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  • alcoholic beverages
  • alcohol intake
  • body mass index
  • diet
  • energy

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