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Published April 12, 2013, 11:30 PM

Hot Topics: People eat more unhealthy foods on days they drink

NEW YORK – Americans tend to eat more calories and fat on the days they also have alcoholic drinks, a new study suggests.

By: Reuters, INFORUM

NEW YORK – Americans tend to eat more calories and fat on the days they also have alcoholic drinks, a new study suggests.

“Food choices changed on the days that people drank... and changed in an unhealthier direction for both men and women,” said Rosalind Breslow, a nutritional epidemiologist at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the lead author of the study.

She said the new information gives people an opportunity to be more aware of what they’re eating on the days they imbibe.

In a previous study, Breslow found people who drink more tend to have poorer diets in general, compared to those who drink less. For the current research, she and her colleagues looked at volunteers’ diets on both the days they drank and the days they abstained.

The data came from a large U.S. health and lifestyle survey conducted in 2003 through 2008.

More than 1,800 people answered a diet questionnaire on two days within a 10-day span - one day when they drank and another when they did not. When people did imbibe, they had an average of two to three alcoholic beverages at a time, most commonly beer and wine.

Breslow’s team found that on non-alcohol days, men in the study ate about 2,400 calories, based on their diet reports, and women consumed 1,700 calories, on average.

When they also drank, men took in about 400 more daily calories and women about 300 more.

For women, the extra calories could be explained by the alcohol alone – but for men, between 100 and 200 were from food.

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