2007 -2009 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Background: Research has shown that 61% of male college students and 59% of female college students consume more than one alcoholic beverage a week. Interestingly, 81% of college students gained weight during their college tenure. This weight gain may at least be partially attributed to the empty calories consumed through alcoholic beverages.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between consumption of alcoholic beverages and weights and BMIs among college students.
Subjects: This study surveyed 182 undergraduate students ranging from age 18-25 at the University of Kentucky. The students were asked about their weight, eating and exercise habits, and alcohol consumption.
Results: None of the participants reported that alcohol had caused them to lose weight. The greatest reported weight gain in males was 12.5±3.5 lbs among those who drank 5-9 drinks per sitting, four or more times a week. The next highest weight gain in males was 12.0±14.7 lbs among those who drank 10 or more beverages per sitting, three times a week, followed by 8.9±11.9 lbs among males who drank 10 or more beverages per sitting, four or more times a week The greatest weight gain in females was 10±8.2 lbs among those who drank 10 or more drinks per sitting twice a week, followed by 9.5±4.9 lbs among those who drank 5-9 drinks per sitting three times a week, then 6.5±2.1 lbs among those who drank 5-9 drinks per sitting, four or more times a week. This study also found a positive direct relationship among drinks consumed per sitting and weight gain in both males and females.
Conclusions: This study does provide evidence that the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption in college students affects weight gain.