Booze calories nearly equal soda’s for US adults

NEW YORK — Americans get too many calories from soda. But what about alcohol? It turns out adults get almost as many empty calories from booze as from soft drinks, a government study found.

Soda and other sweetened drinks — the focus of obesity-fighting public health campaigns — are the source of about 6 percent of the calories adults consume, on average. Alcoholic beverages account for about 5 percent, the new study found.

‘‘We’ve been focusing on sugar-sweetened beverages. This is something new,’’ said Cynthia Ogden, one of the study’s authors.


The government researchers say the findings deserve attention because, like soda, alcohol contains few nutrients but plenty of calories.

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But a liquor trade association said the findings, released Thursday, indicate there’s no big problem.

‘‘This research shows that the overwhelming majority of adults drink moderately,’’ Lisa Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the Distilled Spirits Council, said in a statement.

The CDC study is based on interviews with more than 11,000 adults from 2007 through 2010.

The study found:


 On any given day, about one-third of men and one-fifth of women consumed calories from beer, wine, or liquor.

 Averaged out to all adults, the average guy drinks 150 calories from alcohol each day, or the equivalent of a can of Budweiser.

 The average woman drinks about 50 calories, or roughly half a glass of wine.

Associated Press