25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol intake is widely assumed to contribute to excess body fatness, especially among young men; however, the evidence is inconsistent. We have addressed this research question by investigating associations between reported alcohol consumption and body composition from large representative national surveys in a high alcohol-consuming country with a high obesity prevalence.

METHODS: The present study comprised a secondary analysis of combined cross-sectional nationally representative Scottish Health Surveys (1995-2010). Reported alcohol-drinking frequency was divided into five groups: from 'nonfrequent drinking' (reference) to daily/'almost every day' among 35 837 representative adults [mean (SD) age: 42.7 (12.7) years (range 18-64 years)]. Quantitative alcohol consumption was categorised into seven groups: from '1-7 to >/=50 10 g units per week'. Regression models against measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were adjusted for age, physical activity, income, smoking, deprivation category and economic status.

RESULTS: Among alcohol-consuming men, heavier drinking (21-28 units per week) was associated with a higher BMI by +1.4 kg m(-2) [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.38-1.43] and higher WC by +3.4 cm (95% CI = 3.2-3.6) than drinking 1-7 units per week. However, those who reported daily drinking frequency were associated with a lower BMI by -2.45 kg m(-2) (95% CI = -2.4 to -2.5) and lower WC by -3.7 cm (95% CI = -3.3 to -4.0) than those who reported less-frequent drinking. Similar associations were found for women. Most of these associations were restricted to subjects aged >30 years. Unexplained variances in BMI and WC are large.

CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative alcohol consumption and frequency of consumption were positively and inversely associated, respectively, with both BMI and WC among alcohol-consuming adults. Surveys are needed that evaluate both the quantity and frequency of consumption. The lowest BMI and WC were associated with a 'Mediterranean' drinking style (i.e. relatively little, but more frequently)

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: The consumption of addictive substances is common in adolescence and raises concerns about future addiction. We investigated addictive substance consumption among young people to inform the design of drug intervention programmes.

METHODS: Participants were a population-based sample of 14- to 24-year-olds from Paredes, northern Portugal. A self-report questionnaire measured social and health variables, including tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug consumption. Results Data were analysed for 731 valid responses. Participants who had drunk alcohol did so first at 14.7 years (mean); 15.3% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 12.9-18.1) drank alcohol regularly (more than 1/week, adjusted for age and sex) (95% CI: 12.9-18.1). Participants who had smoked tobacco did so first at 14.8 years (mean); 16.6% (95% CI: 14.0-19.5) were regular smokers. Illicit drug consumption was reported by 16.7% of participants (95% CI: 14.2-19.6) and 10.4% consumed drugs regularly.

CONCLUSION: We found a high prevalence of addictive substance consumption, particularly alcohol. As cultural attitudes likely influence alcohol consumption, a multigenerational approach is needed to address adolescent consumption. Participants' main sources of drug information were family members. Strategies are needed to promote drug literacy in parents and other relatives to change adolescents' culturally acquired habits of addictive substance consumption.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

ISSUES: Event-level alcohol research can inform prevention efforts by determining whether drinking contexts-such as people or places-are associated with harmful outcomes. This review synthesises evidence on associations between characteristics of adults' drinking occasions and acute alcohol-related harm.

APPROACH: We systematically searched Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid PsycInfo and the Web of Science Social Sciences Citation Index. Eligible papers used quantitative designs and event-level data collection methods. They linked one or more drinking contexts to acute alcohol-related harm. Following extraction of study characteristics, methods and findings, we assessed study quality and narratively synthesised the findings. PROSPERO ID: CRD42018119701.

KEY FINDINGS: Searches identified 95 eligible papers, 65 (68%) of which study young adults and 62 (65%) of which are set in the United States, which limits generalisability to other populations. These papers studied a range of harms from assault to drink driving. Study quality is good overall although measures often lack validation. We found substantial evidence for direct effects of drinking context on harms. All of the contextual characteristics types studied (e.g. people, place, timing, psychological states, drink type) were consistently associated with harms. Certain contexts were frequently studied and associated with harms, in particular, weekend drinking, drinking in licensed premises and concurrent illicit drug use.

IMPLICATIONS: The findings of our review indicate target drinking contexts for prevention efforts that are consistently associated with increased acute alcohol-related harm. CONCLUSION: A large range of contextual characteristics of drinking occasions are directly associated with acute alcohol-related harm, over and above levels of consumption.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Alcohol intake is widely assumed to contribute to excess body fatness, especially among young men; however, the evidence is inconsistent. We have addressed this research question by investigating associations between reported alcohol consumption and body composition from large representative national surveys in a high alcohol-consuming country with a high obesity prevalence.

METHODS: The present study comprised a secondary analysis of combined cross-sectional nationally representative Scottish Health Surveys (1995-2010). Reported alcohol-drinking frequency was divided into five groups: from 'nonfrequent drinking' (reference) to daily/'almost every day' among 35 837 representative adults [mean (SD) age: 42.7 (12.7) years (range 18-64 years)]. Quantitative alcohol consumption was categorised into seven groups: from '1-7 to >/=50 10 g units per week'. Regression models against measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were adjusted for age, physical activity, income, smoking, deprivation category and economic status.

RESULTS: Among alcohol-consuming men, heavier drinking (21-28 units per week) was associated with a higher BMI by +1.4 kg m(-2) [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.38-1.43] and higher WC by +3.4 cm (95% CI = 3.2-3.6) than drinking 1-7 units per week. However, those who reported daily drinking frequency were associated with a lower BMI by -2.45 kg m(-2) (95% CI = -2.4 to -2.5) and lower WC by -3.7 cm (95% CI = -3.3 to -4.0) than those who reported less-frequent drinking. Similar associations were found for women. Most of these associations were restricted to subjects aged >30 years. Unexplained variances in BMI and WC are large.

CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative alcohol consumption and frequency of consumption were positively and inversely associated, respectively, with both BMI and WC among alcohol-consuming adults. Surveys are needed that evaluate both the quantity and frequency of consumption. The lowest BMI and WC were associated with a 'Mediterranean' drinking style (i.e. relatively little, but more frequently)

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