Relationship between rates of consumption of alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages for U.S. adults in 9 states
Brem, Amanda Jeanne
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BACKGROUND: Current efforts to control the obesity epidemic has focused on sugar sweetened beverages (SSB), particularly soda, and less on alcohol intake even though alcohol is also a source of “empty calories”. Few data are available about the association between soda and excessive alcohol consumption and whether people may substitute one form of beverage for the other, essentially “choosing their poison”. METHODS: We used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from 2017 to examine the relationship between alcohol and soda consumption in adults 18 and older. We first compared the rates of different types of sweetened beverage consumption soda in our population. We then examined the association between the sugar-sweetened beverage and alcohol drinking status using regression models adjusted for potential confounders. Analyses were weighted and adjusted using SAS 9.4 to account for the complex sampling methods. RESULTS: Based on 2017 BRFSS data, we found an inverse relationship between heavy drinking and soda consumption after adjusting for age, sex, race, income, education, marital and insurance status, smoking, diabetes, and hypertension. Compared to those who don’t drink soda, the odds ratio of heavy drinking was 0.75 (95% CI 0.63, 0.90) for those who drink up to one soda/week; 0.66 (0.53, 0.81) for those drinking >1 to <7 sodas/week; 0.73 (0.65, 0.97) for ≥7 to <14 sodas/week; and 0.70 (0.49, 1.02) for ≥14 sodas/week. CONCLUSION: There seems to be an inverse association between soda and alcohol consumption. Public health efforts may want to consider targeting both behaviors concurrently to avoid beverage substitution.