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New Study Finds Americans Drink Too Many Empty Calories

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to empty calories, alcohol plays a large part for many Americans. A new CDC study finds alcoholic drinks make up about five per cent of the calories American adults consume.

The study asked more than 11,000 U.S. adults what they ate and drank over the previous 24 hours. From 2007-2010, nearly 20 per cent of men and 6 per cent of women took in about 300 calories a day from alcoholic beverages -- about 16 per cent of their daily calories -- more than recommended. Women from the highest income level consumed a higher average amount of calories from alcohol.

"Obesity is a big problem in this country," said ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton, "and whether you're putting on those pounds from food or drinks,  you have to look at the math at the end of the day and these numbers tell a very grim picture."

"What is showed is that people were getting as many calories by consuming alcohol beverages as they did from sweetened beverages like soda, juice, etcetera," she continued.

Results also showed that on any given day, about one-third of men and one-fifth of women consumed calories from beer, wine or liquor.

"All calories matter and for anyone dealing with weight gain or obesity or who's at high risk for certain types of cancers especially breast cancer -- they should absolutely limit their alcohol consumption and women need to be very very aware of that," said Ashton.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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