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Study: Americans Consume Almost As Many Empty Calories From Alcohol As From Soda

(Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

(Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

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By Chelsea Karnash

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) – Cutting back on soda to cut calories? You might want to scale back your booze consumption, too.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control published in the November issue of NCHS Data Brief shows that American adults consume almost as many calories from alcohol as they do from soda.

Data from more than 10,000 people taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2011) revealed that American adults consume an average of 100 empty alcohol calories per day, or about 5% of total calories consumed. Soda and sugary drinks make up about 6% percent on average.

Unsurprisingly, the study also found that men consume more calories from alcohol than women – 150 calories versus about 50 – and that younger adults consume more booze than the older population. Men typically prefer beer over any other type of alcohol, while women showed no real preference for one boozy drink over another.

Those in the highest income bracket consume the most calories from alcohol: 117 calories per day are taken in by those living 350% at or above the poverty level, as compared to just over 90 calories from those living below 130%. The study found no significant variations by race or ethnicity in the number of calories consumed on average.

And while a number of current and controversial government initiatives aim to limit soda consumption, it remains to be seen whether this new data on calories from alcoholic beverages will result in similar efforts.

To see the study, visit: www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db110.htm#ref2

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