Abstract 16331: Alcohol Consumption and Its Relation to Obesity in a Population-Based Study in Finland
Introduction: Alcohol is the second most energy-dense macronutrient and it is metabolized very effectively. The previous results, however, do not conclusively confirm a positive association between alcohol consumption and BMI. In several studies, moderate alcohol consumers have shown lower BMI than abstainers, despite their higher daily energy intake. Our aim was to determine associations of alcohol consumption with energy intake and BMI.
Methods: The National FINRISK 2012 Health Study consisted of 4776 participants aged 25-74 years. The Study included questionnaires and measured weight and height. A validated food frequency questionnaire was used to assess participants’ whole diet.
Findings: Of men, 12% were classified as abstainers and 6% as heavy drinkers, while the percentages for women were 25% and 3%, respectively. The mean daily alcohol consumption was 12.9 g among men and 4.4 g among women. Alcohol consumption had a highly skewed distribution; the participants in the highest alcohol quintile consumed about half of all reported alcohol (46% for men and 44% for women). Men consumed 71% of all the reported alcohol.
In men and women, daily energy intake increased with rising alcohol consumption. However, there were no differences in the non-alcoholic energy intake from foods between alcohol consumption categories (p-value was 0.15 for men and 0.74 for women). The U-shaped association between low/moderate alcohol consumption and BMI was observed, especially in women. Moderate female alcohol consumers were 1.5-2 BMI units leaner than the others, whereas the difference was below 1 BMI unit in male.
Conclusions: Alcohol consumers did not habitually substitute food items with alcohol beverages. The participants with low or moderate alcohol consumption, however, had the lowest BMI. The reasons for moderate drinkers being leaner than abstainers remain an interesting open question. Obesity, however, can partly explain the U-shaped association found between alcohol consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Author Disclosures: S. Männistö: None. J. Kontto: None. K. Borodulin: None. N. Kanerva: None. T. Laatikainen: None. P. Jousilahti: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.