European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 369–376

Relationship of abdominal obesity with alcohol consumption at population scale

  • Helmut Schröder
  • Jose Antonio Morales-Molina
  • Silvia Bermejo
  • Diego Barral
  • Eduardo Soler Mándoli
  • María Grau
  • Monica Guxens
  • Elisabet de Jaime Gil
  • Marisol Domínguez Álvarez
  • Jaume Marrugat



The high energy content of alcohol makes its consumption a potential contributor to the obesity epidemic.

Aim of the study

To determine whether alcohol consumption is a risk factor for abdominal obesity, taking into account energy underreporting.


The subjects were Spanish men (n = 1491) and women (n = 1563) aged 25–74 years who were examined in 1999–2000, in a population-based cross-sectional survey in northeastern Spain (Girona). Dietary intake, including alcohol consumption, was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometric variables were measured.


The mean consumption of alcohol was 18.1 ± 20.7 g/d in men and 5.3 ± 10.4 g/d in women. 19.3% of men and 2.3% of women reported alcohol consumption of more than 3 drinks per day. The consumption of alcohol was directly associated with total energy intake in men (P < 0.001) and women (P = 0.001). The proportion of energy underreporting significantly (P < 0.001) decreased with higher amounts of alcohol drinking in both genders. Multiple logistic regression analysis, controlled for energy underreporting, smoking, educational level, leisure-time physical activity, energy, and diet quality, revealed that consuming more than 3 drinks of alcohol (>30 g ethanol) was significantly associated with the risk of abdominal obesity (Odds ratio 1.80; 1.05, 3.09) and exceeding recommended energy consumption (Odds ratio 1.97; 1.32, 2.93) in men. A very small number (2.13%) of women in this population reported high levels of alcohol consumption.


Alcohol consumption in elevated amounts was associated with risk of abdominal obesity in men, independent of energy underreporting.


waist alcoholic beverages energy underreporting 


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Copyright information

© Spinger 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut Schröder
    • 1
  • Jose Antonio Morales-Molina
    • 2
  • Silvia Bermejo
    • 3
  • Diego Barral
    • 4
    • 5
  • Eduardo Soler Mándoli
    • 3
  • María Grau
    • 5
    • 6
  • Monica Guxens
    • 1
  • Elisabet de Jaime Gil
    • 7
  • Marisol Domínguez Álvarez
    • 8
  • Jaume Marrugat
    • 1
  1. 1.Lipids and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research UnitInstitut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica, IMIM, Hospital de Mar, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Dept. of PharmacyIMIM-Hospital de MarBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Dept. of AnesthesiologyIMIM-Hospital de MarBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Pharmacology Research UnitIMIM-Hospital de MarBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Preventive Medicine and Public Health IMAS-UPF-ASPBBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.IMIM-Hospital de MarBarcelonaSpain
  8. 8.Dept. of PneumologyIMIM-Hospital de MarBarcelonaSpain

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