People consume more calories and fat on the days they drink alcohol, according to a new study.
Researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism studied 1,864 adults who answered a diet questionnaire on two days within a 10-day period. On one day, they drank alcohol, and on the second day, they did not. When they drank, they had an average of two to three alcoholic beverages at a time.
On days they did not drink, men consumed an average of 2,400 calories, while women consumed about 1,700 calories. When they drank, men consumed about 400 more daily calories, and women took in about 300 more calories, Reuters reports. For the women, the extra calories could have come from the alcohol alone. For men, between 100 and 200 of the extra calories came from food, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Both men and women consumed about 9 percent more fat on days they drank alcohol. They also drank less milk. Men ate more white potatoes and meat on days they drank.
Lead researcher Rosalind Breslow noted social events that serve alcohol often include less healthy foods. It is also possible that when people drink, they are more impulsive and don’t stop themselves from eating more unhealthy foods, she added.