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Diets Worsen As Alcohol Intake Increases

According to a new study by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Platter of unhealthy foods(NIAAA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), people who drink more alcohol are also likely to eat less fruit and consume more calories from a combination of alcoholic beverages and foods high in unhealthy fats and added sugars. The study, which was published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, examined more than 15,000 adults in the United States and found that increased alcoholic beverage consumption was associated with decreased quality in diet.

Heavy drinking and dietary factors have both independently been associated with cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and other health problems. The study raises the question as to whether the combination of heavy drinking and poor diet might interact to further increase health risks.

“Our findings underscore the importance of moderation for individuals who choose to consume alcoholic beverages, and a greater awareness of healthy food choices among such individuals,” said one of the researchers. The 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as no more than one drink on any day for women and no more than two drinks on any day for men.

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