The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a study claiming that on any given day, adult consumers of alcoholic beverages imbibe approximately 16 percent of their total caloric intake from alcoholic beverages— “the same contribution to overall calories as the 16 [percent] from added sugars among U.S. children.” Samara Joy Nielsen, et al., “Calories Consumed from Alcoholic Beverages by U.S. Adults, 2007-2010,” NCHS Data Brief, November 2012. According to the study, which used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the adult population consumes on average “almost 100 calories per day from alcoholic beverages.” Divided between the sexes, however, the data reportedly showed that men drank 150-calories worth of alcoholic beverages each day whereas women consumed “a little over” 50 calories.
“We’ve been focusing on sugar-sweetened beverages. This is something new,” said CDC epidemiologist and study co-author Cynthia Ogden. In particular, the study noted that beer, wine and spirits are “a top contributor to caloric intake,” with 19 percent of men consuming more than 300 calories from alcoholic beverages and 12 percent of women consuming more than 150 calories from alcoholic beverages on any given day.
Meanwhile, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s director of nutrition policy, Margo Wootan, apparently told reporters that health officials “should think about enacting policies to limit alcoholic intake.” While noting that New York City “was smart to start with sugary drinks,” Wootan called for the Obama administration to reexamine its plan to exempt alcoholic beverages from calorie disclosure requirements in restaurants. “It could give people the wrong idea,” she reportedly said. See Associated Press, November 15, 2012.