Analysis of NHANES 1999-2002 data reveals noteworthy association of alcohol consumption with obesity
Background With the obesity pandemic sweeping the globe and alcohol use on the rise worldwide, there is growing interest in how the two might be linked epidemiologically. The aim of the study was to use data from the NHANES registry from 1999-2002 to analyze the association between obesity and alcohol use.
Methods Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between alcohol use and obesity. Risk was assessed separately for men and women.
Results Of the 9,193 individuals (49% males), 26.8% of males and 33.6% of females were obese. About 17% of males and 12% of females were never drinkers (less than 12 drinks in their lifetime). After adjusting for age, race, marital status, highest level of education of the individual and spouse, country of origin, annual household income and duration of physical activity in the past 30 days, the odds of obesity were higher in never drinkers compared to ever drinkers in both men and women. Consumption of alcohol for more than 45 days, binge drinking (>5 drinks/day) for more than 90 days and being "ever binge drinker" were associated with significantly higher odds of obesity (in both genders) than those who drank for shorter duration or were "never binge drinkers". Consumption of alcohol more than the recommended limit for moderate drinking (3 drinks/day in females and 4 drinks/day in males) was associated with increased (OR 1.074, 95% CI 1.072-1.076) and decreased (OR 0.970, 95%CI 0.968-0.972) obesity in females and males respectively.
Conclusion Frequent or heavy alcohol consumption is associated with greater odds of being obese.
Keywords Alcohol, obesity, binge drinking, demographic, education
Ann Gastroenterol 2014; 27 (3): 250-257