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Society's Dirty Little Weight Gain SecretThe National Center for Health Statistics this week released some data from a study on alcohol usage of Americans. The results were alarming to put it mildly. According to the NCHS, 16% of all calories consumed in the United States are alcohol calories! The NCHS Study The NCHS study tracked the calorie consumption habits of U.S. adults from 2007-2010. What they found is that the average American male over 20 years of age consumes 150 alcohol calories per day. Women of the same age consume an average of 50 alcohol calories per day. When this level of alcohol calorie intake is extrapolated over the course of a year, the average male consumes 54,750 alcohol calories per year which is equivalent to 15.6 pounds of body weight! In other words, if the average American man burned off exactly as many calories each day as he derived from fat, protein and carbohydrates but retained the added body weight from alcohol calories, he would gain nearly 16 pounds in one year! For women, the news is slightly better. The average American woman consumes 18,250 alcohol calories per year which corresponds to 5.2 pounds of added body weight if the calories are not burned off through activity. Source: calories per pound of body weight.
However, as the NCHS study indicates, alcohol calorie consumption is anything but evenly dispersed through the population. 67.3% of men consume no calories from alcohol on a given day while 19% of men consume greater than 300 alcohol calories on a daily basis. 82.1% of women consume no calories on a given day while 6% of women consume greater than 300 calories.