Booze Can Add Inches To Your Waistline, Study Warns

The battle of the bulge also involves booze: with the all the focus on sugary soda drinks and obesity, many people seem to be overlooking that alcoholic beverages can also be significant part of the problem.

New data from the National Center for Health Statistics in the US Centers For Disease Control suggests that Americans consume about 100 calories a day in alcoholic beverages, which may partially explain why many can’t seem to lose weight. The report indicates that one beer is approximately 150 calories, a glass of wine is about 120 calories, and 1.5 ounces of liquor taken straight is equivalent to about 100 calories.

According to the study which is based on a survey of 11,000 Americans, a large segment of the population needs to be more mindful about their drinking habits when it comes to beer, wine, and mixed drinks:

“On a given day, almost one-third of men and 18% of women aged 20 and over consume alcoholic beverages. On average, men aged 20–39 consume the greatest number of calories—174 per day—from alcoholic beverages compared with other groups. This is greater than the 150 calories in one 12-oz can of soda.”

NBC News indicates that just 50 extra calories a day from alcohol could mean a five-pound weight gain over the course of a year. What’s worse, the study notes that 19 percent of men and six percent of women regularly down 300 or more calories a day through drinking.

Lead researcher Samara Joy Neilsen told NBC that “I just don’t think [drinking and weight gain] is on people’s radar screen. It’s not even highlighted in the scientific literature. Researchers usually focus on sugary drinks or sodas or fruit juices or energy drinks.”

Similarly, UCLA scientist Susan Bowerman commented that “Everyone talks about beer bellies. But when it comes to wine, I don’t think people account for the calories. And I don’t think people are aware of how many calories they can get in a mixed drink.”

Especially during the holiday season, do you think calorie counters would have the self discipline to limit their alcohol intake to one drink with dinner?