Kenneth R. Warren, acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture said heavy drinking and dietary factors have independently been associated with cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and other chronic health problems.
"This finding raises questions about whether the combination of alcohol misuse and poor diet might interact to further increase health risks," Warren said in a statement.
The study, scheduled to be published in April in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found decreased fruit consumption and increased caloric intake among both men and women. The study also found increased alcoholic beverage consumption was associated with a decreased intake of whole grains and milk among men.
"We found that as alcoholic beverage consumption increased, Healthy Eating Index scores decreased, an indication of poorer food choices," said first author Rosalind A. Breslow of the NIAAA. "It's important to note that our study did not determine the cause of these associations."