Study identifies the hidden weight culprit

08:30 AEST Sat Nov 17 2012
A large US study has revealed we drink just as many kilojoules from alcohol as we do from sweet drinks (ThinkStock)
A large US study has revealed we drink just as many kilojoules from alcohol as we do from sweet drinks (ThinkStock)

While we've been so concerned about our intake of sugary soft drinks, another culprit in the obesity boom has gone under the radar.

A large US study has revealed we drink just as many kilojoules from alcohol as we do from sweet drinks.

The US government-funded study looked at the beverage intake of 11,000 people over three years and found that the average adult drinks 630 kilojoules from alcohol per day.

While soft drinks have been criticised for contributing about six percent of our average energy intake, it revealed alcoholic beverages also account for about five percent.

Calories refer to the energy content of food, which is now officially measured in kilojoules. There are about four kilojoules to a calorie.

"We've been focusing on sugar-sweetened beverages. This is something new," study author Cynthia Ogden from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press.

"Beverage calories count for adults — we have forgotten that and not examined what beverages are contributing to caloric intake among adults.

"A beer is 150 calories and a soda is 150 calories," she said.

"Be aware of all of your calories consumed for the day including coffee and tea, sugar-sweetened beverages and alcohol."

However, according to recent figures our alcohol consumption has dropped by 2.6 percent since 2009-2010. We consumed 2.2 standard drinks per person, per day in 2010-11.


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