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Alcoholic Drinks Add 100 Calories a Day to Average Adult's Diet: Study
Date:11/15/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The average American adult takes in 100 calories a day imbibing beer, wine or liquor, a new study finds.

Not everyone drinks that regularly, of course, but the research shows that about 30 percent of men and 18 percent of women aged 20 or older consume some form of alcoholic beverage on a daily basis.

On average, however, "people were consuming less than one drink per day," said study author Dr. Samara Joy Nielsen, a senior service fellow at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Many may not realize that even a little daily drinking can lead to weight gain over time, she said.

"Beverage calories count for adults," Neilsen said. "We have forgotten that, and not examined what beverages are contributing to caloric intake among adults."

To put things into perspective, "a beer is 150 calories and a soda is 150 calories," she said. "Be aware of all of your calories consumed for the day including coffee and tea, sugar-sweetened beverages and alcohol."

The new report details patterns of alcoholic beverage consumption by U.S. adults from 2007 to 2010. The findings are published in the November issue of the NCHS Data Brief.

Participants were asked to recount the number of drinks they had over a 24-hour period. Men were more likely to opt for beer than any other types of alcohol, while women seemed to prefer wine.

The 100-calorie per day average represents about 16 percent of total calories, the researchers noted. Not surprisingly, the biggest drinkers were men aged 20 to 39, who consumed 174 calories of alcohol per day, on average.

A little drinking is not necessarily unhealthy, and current U.S. dietary guidelines suggest that moderate alcohol consumption -- a drink per day for women and two drinks for men -- can have a place in a healthy diet.

The new findings suggest that most peo
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