25 October 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Young adult binge drinking prevalence has been widely researched. However, beverage-specific binge drinking rates for beer, liquor, wine, and wine coolers have not yet been documented for this age group. This study examines consumption of specific beverages (i.e., 5+ drinks in a row in the past two weeks) by young adults aged 19/20. Data from the national Monitoring the Future study were collected one or two years after high school from 2004 to 2014 (n=2004). Logistic regression was used to examine associations between beverage-specific 5+ drinking and gender, race/ethnicity, parent education, college status, and cohort year. Overall 5+ drinking in the past two weeks was reported by 31.4% of young adults. Beverage-specific 5+ drinking was most common with liquor (22.6%) and beer (22.4%), followed by wine (4.5%) and wine coolers (3.0%). Men were more likely than women to engage in 5+ drinking with beer and liquor; women were more likely than men to do so with wine and wine coolers. Beverage-specific patterns differed by college attendance. Compared to four-year college students, two-year college/votech students were less likely to have 5+ drinks of liquor or wine, and more likely to have 5+ wine coolers; those not in college were less likely to have 5+ drinks of liquor and more likely to have 5+ wine coolers. Differences in beverage-specific 5+ drinking by gender and college enrollment suggest that intervention efforts should focus on the beverages that are most commonly consumed at high levels within specific early young adult populations.

21 September 2016 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The association between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Hispanic/Latino populations has not been studied in great detail. Our study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and MetS among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos and explored whether this relationship varied by age, body mass index, gender, and Hispanic/Latino backgrounds.

METHODS: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multisite, prospective, population-based, cohort study of Hispanics/Latinos, ages 18-74 years from four U.S. communities. Participants were categorized into never, former, occasional, low, moderate, and high alcohol consumption categories. A cross-sectional analysis of 15,905 participants with complete data was conducted. Survey design appropriate chi-squared and logistic regression models were run to detect significant associations between alcohol consumption categories and cases of MetS.

RESULTS: Almost half (47.4%) of the sample was classified as occasional, low, moderate, or heavy drinkers. Low and moderate alcohol consumers had lower odds of MetS than never drinkers. Low and heavy drinkers had higher odds of presenting with elevated central obesity, while occasional, low, moderate, and heavy drinkers had higher odds of having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels compared to never drinkers. Low and moderate wine drinkers had lower odds of MetS compared to never drinkers. There were no significant findings among beer or liquor drinkers, or with binge drinking after model adjustments.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that low and moderate alcohol consumption may lower the odds of MetS in a sample of Hispanic/Latino adults, but that the relationship of alcohol consumption varies with the individual components of MetS.

21 September 2016 In General Health

Although excessive alcohol use and alcohol misuse contribute to a broad range of health problems, recent research indicates that moderate alcohol consumption may in fact be beneficial. The present study builds on previous research to investigate the associations between alcohol use and self-rated health status among young adults. Using data collected in 2008 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we use ordered probit models to determine whether the protective effects of moderate alcohol use are present after controlling for demographic, lifestyle, family background, and health-related characteristics. Our findings generally support earlier research with older samples, but some key gender differences are present. For women (n = 8275), moderate drinkers have better self-rated health status relative to former drinkers, infrequent drinkers, and light drinkers. Among men (n = 7207), the effects are mixed and less often significant. Differences in results between men and women point to the need for further gender-specific research and studies with other measures of health.

02 August 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Pre-drinking has been linked to subsequent heavy drinking and the engagement in multiple risky behaviors.

OBJECTIVES: The present study examined a group of adolescents who recently had a "big night out" to determine whether there were differences in their pre-drinking behavior based on age, gender, geographic location, and social setting.

METHODS: Participants (n = 351, aged 16-19) representing the heaviest 20-25% of drinkers in their age group were recruited using nonrandom sampling from metropolitan (Melbourne, Sydney, Perth) or regional (Bunbury) locations across Australia and administered a survey by a trained interviewer.

RESULTS: Almost half the sample pre-drank (n = 149), most commonly at a friend's house. Those aged 18-19 were more likely to pre-drink, and did so at higher quantities compared to their younger counterparts. Males and females reported similar pre-drinking duration, quantity and amount spent on alcohol. Compared to those in cities, regional participants consumed greater quantities over longer periods of time. Two-thirds of participants consumed alcohol in excess of national guidelines during their pre-drinking session. These participants were more likely to nominate price as a motivation to pre-drink and were less likely to report that someone else provided them alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS: This study sheds light on the pre-drinking habits of a population of young risky drinkers, and highlights the need for policy makers to address this form of drinking to reduce alcohol-related harm among young people.

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