Need to lose weight? A new study suggests that you should step away from the bar.
The average drinker gets about 16 percent of his or her calories from alcoholic beverages, which contribute about 100 calories a day to the average American's diet, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control report released Thursday.
However, wine, liquor and beer may add significantly more to the daily calorie count for young adults and men.
One serving of alcohol, not including mixers, on average contains about 100 to 150 calories with a 12-ounce beer being 150 calories, a 5-ounce glass of wine being 120 calories and a 1.5-ounce or shot of liquor being about 100 calories.
The calories in alcohol mainly come from sugar, and federal dietary guidelines recommend no more than 5 percent to 15 percent of total calories from solid fats or added sugars. Because alcoholic beverages is considered a source of added sugar, the results from the latest study show that the average American's 16 percent of daily calories exceeds that recommended 15 percent limit.
The report, based on survey data from 11,000 adults over the age of 20 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2010, revealed that while on average men consume 150 calories of alcohol a day, women consume just 53.
The report also revealed that young men between the ages of 20 and 29 got the most calories from alcohol at about 174 a day compared to other groups.
Women over the age of 60 consumed the fewest alcohol calories at an average of 33 calories a day.
Researchers found that men drank more beer compared to other types of alcohol, with beer accounting for 103 of the 150 alcohol calories drunk per day by men, and beer, wine and liquor contributed nearly equally to the daily alcohol calories count among women.
Researchers found that while the average calorie count from alcoholic drinks did not differ by race or ethnicity, higher earning women drank more than those who earned less.
Federal health officials recommend that people should only drink in moderation, with one drink per day for women and two for men. While the latest results show that most men and women across the total population fall within these guidelines, 19 percent of men and 12 percent of women exceed them.