Differences in the measured alcohol content of drinks between black, white and Hispanic men and women in a US national sample
Article first published online: 11 MAY 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 9, pages 1503–1511, September 2009
How to Cite
Kerr, W. C., Patterson, D. and Greenfield, T. K. (2009), Differences in the measured alcohol content of drinks between black, white and Hispanic men and women in a US national sample. Addiction, 104: 1503–1511. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02579.x
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 11 MAY 2009
- Submitted 9 July 2008; initial review completed 24 October 2008; final version accepted 18 February 2009
- Alcohol content;
- beverage type;
- ethnic differences;
Aims To measure and describe drink alcohol content differences between Hispanic, non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black men and women in the United States.
Design A telephone survey re-interview of 397 respondents who participated originally in the 2005 National Alcohol Survey, of whom 306 provided complete information on home drinks.
Setting United States.
Participants Adults aged 18 years and older from across the United States.
Measurements Direct measurement by respondents of simulated drink pours in respondents' own glassware using a provided beaker and reported beverage brands were used to calculate drink alcohol content.
Findings Black men were found to have the largest overall mean drink alcohol content at 0.79 oz (23 ml) of alcohol. This was significantly larger than the mean for white men or for black women and added 30% to black men's monthly alcohol intake when applied to their reported number of drinks. Spirits drinks were found to be particularly large for men. Multivariate models indicated that drink alcohol content differences are attributable more to income and family structure differences than to unmeasured cultural factors tied to race or ethnicity per se. Models predicting alcohol-related consequences and dependence indicate that adjusting drink alcohol content improves model fit and reduces differences between race/ethnicity defined groups.
Conclusions Differences in drink alcohol content by gender, race/ethnicity and beverage type choice should be considered in comparisons of drinking patterns and alcohol-related outcomes. Observed differences can be explained partially by measured characteristics regarding family structure and income.