Alcohol intake in relation to diet and obesity in women and men

Graham A. Colditz, Edward Giovannucci, Eric B. Rimm, Meir J. Stampfer, Bernard Rosner, Frank E. Speizer, Enoch Gordis, Walter C. Willett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Scopus citations


We studied relations between alcohol intake, body mass index, and diet in 89 538 women and 48 493 men in two cohort studies. Total energy increased with alcohol consumption (partial r = 0.11, P < 0.001), and carbohydrate intake decreased from 153 g/d in abstainers to 131 g/d in women drinking 25.0-49.9 g alcohol/d. The decrease in carbohydrate intake was due mainly to decreased sugar consumption with higher alcohol intake (partial r = -0.05, P < 0.001), reflecting decreased energy consumption from sources excluding alcohol. In men total energy increased with alcohol consumption (partial r = 0.19, P < 0.001), from 7575.6 (abstainers) to 9821.5 kJ/d (> 50 g alcohol/d). Energy intake excluding alcohol varied little with alcohol intake (partial r = 0.003, P = 0.48) but sucrose intake decreased with higher alcohol intake. These data suggest that calories from alcohol were added to energy intake from other sources in men, and that in women, energy from alcohol intake displaced sucrose. The consumption of candy and sugar is inversely related to alcohol intake, raising the possibility that it is related to appetite for alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991


  • Alcohol
  • Body mass index
  • Carbohydrate
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Population studies
  • Sucrose


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