A new government study claims that U.S. consumers intake nearly as many empty calories from alcohol as they do from soda.
"We've been focusing on sugar-sweetened beverages. This is something new," Cynthia Ogden, one of the study's authors and an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Associated Press.
The study results, which were published on Thursday, claim that Americans get about 6 percent of all their calories from soda and other sweetened drinks, with about 5 percent coming from alcoholic beverages.
And while the CDC said the results should raise concerns amongst consumers, a representative from the alcohol industry claimed just the opposite.
"This research shows that the overwhelming majority of adults drink moderately," Lisa Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the Distilled Spirits Council, said in a statement.
The Obama administration has announced it plans to exempt alcoholic beverages from proposed federal regulations requiring calorie count labels on restaurant menus. A provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to print the nutrition information on their restaurant menus.
In its three-year study of more than 11,000 U.S. adults, the CDC found some interesting statistics regarding alcohol consumption:
For example, while there are substantial differences in the drinking habits of men and women, there appear to be broad similarities within genders across ethnic and other cultural lines.
Men consume about three times as many calories (150) per day from alcohol than women (about 50). And men prefer to get their alcohol calories from beer, while women have no clear preference in their libation of choice.
A different study from the Beverage Marketing Corporation claims that soda consumption in the U.S. has actually declined in recent years.