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16% of all the calories consumed in the United States are in the form of alcoholic beverages. The National Center For Health Statistics released the surprising factoid earlier this week alongside a further breakdown of how much American men and women typically drink on the average day, and it turns out we collectively like our booze.
Almost one third of men (32.7%) and almost one in five women (18%) take in some amount of calories from alcohol on the average day. Not surprisingly, dudes consume three times as much (150 vs 50), and while males overwhelmingly get their calories through beer, females more evenly split the intake between beer, wine and spirits.
According to Food Product Designs, the sixteen percent calories from alcohol exactly mirrors the sixteen percent the average child gets from consuming added sugars. That could be a strange coincidence, or it could be a really telling commentary on the inherent need most people have to slightly alter their mood.
The National Center for Health Statistics was able to gather the research by carefully studying nutritional surveys between 2007 and 2010. Both total calories and alcoholic calories were analyzed to discern overall percentages and then the research was further broken down by gender and age. Men between the ages of 20 and 39, of course, are the most frequent consumers.
Because a solid percentage of Americans really don’t drink and another percentage drinks way too much, it’s hard to know how many calories the median American is actually drinking. Hopefully, when the next round of studies is completed in about five or ten years, further analysis is done to break down the categories.