Alcohol And Diet: Drinkers Also Make Bad Food Choices [Study]

people ate poorer diets on drinking days than non-drinking days

Alcohol and a healthy diet apparently don’t “mix.”

Men and women consume more calories and eat fattier foods on so-called drinking days, according to a new study.

This fundamentally unsurprising outcome emerged from reviewing the current drinking habits of 1126 men and 738 women on days when they were boozing versus those days when they weren’t. Data was gathered from a lifestyle survey circa 2003-2008.

The research findings indicated that men consumed about 2,400 calories on average in their diet when they weren’t drinking and 2,800 when they were. For women, the differential was 2,000 and 1,700 calories. They also tended to eat about nine percent more fat along with the drinking.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, succinctly stated that “These mostly moderate drinkers had poorer diets on drinking days.” Most of the subjects drank beer or wine and averaged about two or three drinks.

According to lead author Rosalind Breslow, PhD, of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Food choices changed on the days that people drank… and changed in an unhealthier direction for both men and women.” According to Breslow, “It could be that social events that involve drinking often also involve less-healthy foods, or that people are more impulsive when they drink and don’t stop themselves from indulging.”

Similarly, a 2010 study by Breslow of 15,000 US adults indicated that “People who drink more are also likely to eat less fruit and consume more calories from a combination of alcoholic beverages and foods high in unhealthy fats and added sugars.”

Some nutritionists advocate eating fatty foods during Happy Hour or the equivalent because such foods reportedly slow down the absorption of alcohol by the body.

A recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggested that 18 percent of men and 11 percent of women already excessively imbibe beyond the minimum recommended amount of alcohol daily in the US.

Does it surprise that there is an inverse relationship between drinking liquor and healthy food choices? Does drinking in general effect the way you eat?