The Tailgate Study: Differing metabolic effects of a bout of excessive eating and drinking

Majid M. Syed-Abdul, Miriam Jacome-Sosa, Qiong Hu, Ayman H. Gaballah, Nathan C. Winn, Nhan T. Lee, Justine M. Mucinski, Camila Manrique-Acevedo, Guido Lastra, Jennifer M. Anderson, Alhareth Al Juboori, Bruce D. Bartholow, Elizabeth J. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Excess energy intake by spectators at a sporting event (i.e., a tailgate) might cause acute negative health effects. However, limited data exist regarding the effects of overeating and alcohol consumption on lipid metabolism and the potential to gain intrahepatic triacylglycerols (IHTG). We tested the hypothesis that overconsumption of food and alcohol would significantly increase both hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and IHTG. Methods: Eighteen males (mean ± SD, age: 31.4 ± 7.3 years, BMI: 32.1 ± 5.9 kg/m2) were given alcoholic drinks to elevate blood alcohol for 5 h, while highly palatable food was presented. Blood samples were collected and DNL in TG-rich lipoproteins (TRL) was measured by GC/MS, IHTG was measured via MRS (n = 15), and substrate oxidation was measured via indirect calorimetry. Results: Subjects consumed 5087 ± 149 kcal (191 ± 25% excess of total daily energy needs including 171 ± 24 g alcohol), which increased plasma insulin, glucose, TG, and decreased NEFA (ANOVA p ≤ 0.003 for all). Both DNL and TRL-TG increased (p < 0.001), while IHTG did not change in the group as a whole (p = 0.229). Individual subject data revealed remarkably differing responses for IHTG (nine increased, five decreased, one did not change). Despite maintaining equal breath alcohol levels, subjects with IHTG elevations exhibited higher DNL, consumed 90% less alcohol (p = 0.048), tended to consume more carbohydrates, and exhibited lower whole-body fat oxidation (not significant) compared to those whose IHTG was reduced. Discussion: This study demonstrates that acute excess energy intake may have differing effects on an individual's DNL and IHTG, and dietary carbohydrate may influence DNL more than alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Alcohol
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fats
  • Intrahepatic triglycerides
  • Overeating


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