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BMC Family Practice 2005, 6:17.   [Full article available at:http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2296/6/17]
Research article

Frequency of alcohol use and obesity in community medicine patients

James E Rohrer1 , Barbara M Rohland2 , Anne Denison1 and Anthony Way3
1 Health Services Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas, United States
2 Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas, USA
3 Preventive Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Abstract

Background
Obesity is an important public health problem. [1] This study focuses on how frequency of alcohol use is related to the risk of obesity in a community medicine clinic population.

Methods
[2] The convenience sample was drawn from three clinics that primarily serve low-income populations. [3]

Results
In comparison to non-drinkers, people who consumed alcohol 3 or more days per month had lower odds of being obese (Adjusted Odds Ratio = .49, p > .04). [4]

Conclusion
More frequent drinking and less television time are independently associated with reduced odds of obesity in this sample of community medicine patients. [5]

Additional research is needed to isolate casual mechanisms. Independent variables included frequency of alcohol use, frequency of binge drinking, demographic characteristics, health behaviors and health status.
However, the effects of alcohol use on the risk for obesity have not been thoroughly explored. With this qualitative study, we aimed to identify possible new important diagnostic variables.
As expected, there was a significant association between watching eight or more hours of television per day and obesity (AOR = 2.34, p < .01). This study used a cross-sectional survey to test the hypothesis that obesity (BMI > 30) is associated with alcohol use.