Nonalcoholic Beverage Consumption Among Adults: United States, 2015–2018

Questions for Crescent Martin, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Nonalcoholic Beverage Consumption Among Adults: United States, 2015–2018.”

Q: Why did you decide to look at non-alcoholic beverage consumption for this report?

CM: Beverages help meet total water intake needs, and also are a major contributor to overall nutrient and caloric intake in the United States.

A previous analysis had looked at beverage consumption among youth (2013-2016), decided to conduct a similar analysis for adults.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

CM: Water contributed substantially more to total non-alcoholic beverages consumption in grams, compared to other beverages.

Men consumed a lower percentage of their total beverages as water and tea, compared to women.

The contribution of coffee to total beverage consumption increased with age


Q: How did the data vary by different beverage types to total non-alcoholic beverage consumption among adults?

CM: By sex: Men consumed a lower percentage of their total beverages as water and tea, compared to women.

Men consumed a higher percentage of their total beverage intake as: coffee, sweetened beverages, fruit beverages, compared to women.

By age: The contributions of several beverages to total beverage consumption decreased with age: water, sweetened beverages, fruit beverages.

Others increased with age: coffee, tea, milk, diet beverages

By race and Hispanic origin:

For non-Hispanic Asian adults: water and tea contributed a higher percentage, sweetened beverages a lower percentage compared to other groups

For non-Hispanic white adults: coffee and diet beverages both contributed a higher percentage than for other groups

For non-Hispanic black and Hispanic adults: sweetened beverages were higher than for NH Asian and NH white adults

For Non-Hispanic black adults: fruit beverages higher than for other groups


Q: What is the take home message for this report?

CM: Water accounted for over half (51.2%) of total non-alcoholic beverage consumption on a given day for US adults in 2015–2018.

Next highest: coffee (14.9%); Sweetened beverages (10.2%); Tea (8.7%)


Q: Does NHANES or NCHS have any data on alcoholic beverage consumption?

CM: An NHANES report from 2012: Calories Consumed From Alcoholic Beverages by U.S. Adults, 2007–2010. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db110.htm

Main findings – Men and younger adults consume more calories from alcoholic beverages. And men consume more beer than other types of alcohol.

Alcohol use (not calories) is also reported using the National Health Interview Survey

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