Samara Joy Nielsen, Dr. Brian K. Kit, Tala Fakhouri and Cynthia L. Ogden of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2010 for the report.
"Although the risks of excessive alcohol consumption in terms of injury and chronic disease are well known, less is known about the calories consumed from alcoholic beverages," the study said. "As with sweetened beverages, alcoholic beverages are a top contributor to caloric intake but provide few nutrients. Although calories consumed from calorically sweetened beverages have been previously examined, calories from alcoholic beverages have been neglected."
The study examined the caloric contribution of alcoholic beverages among adults age 20 and older from 2007 to 2010, using data from 24-hour dietary recall interviews.
On a given day, one-third of men and 18 percent of women consume calories from alcoholic beverages and almost 20 percent of men and 6 percent of women consume more than 300 calories from alcoholic beverages -- the equivalent of two or more 12-ounce beers, more than 2.5 glasses of wine or more than 4.5 ounces of spirits.
The study also found men consume more calories from alcoholic beverages than women, younger adults consume more calories from alcoholic beverages than older adults, and men consume more beer than other types of alcohol.
Average calories consumed from alcoholic beverages did not differ by race and ethnicity, the study said.