CDC Going After Booze

Because it makes us fat….kinda

The most comprehensive source I’ve come across (and referred to recently here) for uncovering what Americans are eating and drinking—including alcohol—is the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, last updated in 2010. And if this CDC alcohol study doesn’t appear so new, perhaps it’s because the “new” study cites the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans in nearly half (43 percent) of its footnotes.

Not surprisingly, the two studies’ conclusions about how many calories Americans consume from alcohol are also nearly identical. USDA data put the number at 106 calories from alcohol (see Table 2-2 on page 12). The CDC study’s total is similar but slightly lower—99 calories.

While the USDA study concludes that “alcoholic beverages are a major calorie source for adults,” the CDC calls them “a top contributor to caloric intake.”

One place where the studies diverge—and where the CDC authors don’t address what I see as a key issue—is the fact that the average alcohol consumption patterns their research reveal actually mirror longstanding USDA recommendations.

“If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age,” reports the USDA in the same Dietary Guidelines for Americans that the CDC researchers know so well. “Moderate evidence suggests that moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages is not associated with weight gain.”

They know better than you!

h/t Mrs. Weer’d

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One Response to CDC Going After Booze

  1. karrde says:

    I seem to remember that pre-Prohibition, the per-capital alcohol production in U.S. was much higher than any time post-Prohibition.

    I’m assuming that per-capita production has some correlation to per-capita consumption.

    Which leads me to ask: did that level of alcohol consumption lead to obesity? If not, why not? (For example, many more people spent more time walking as a part of everyday life…and they didn’t have the modern USDA Food Pyramid.)

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