Relationship between abdominal obesity and alcohol drinking pattern in normal-weight, middle-aged adults: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2013

Public Health Nutr. 2017 Aug;20(12):2192-2200. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017001045. Epub 2017 Jun 23.


Objective: Abdominal obesity is associated with obesity-related health risks regardless of body weight. The present study aimed to determine whether alcohol drinking pattern is associated with abdominal obesity in normal-weight, middle-aged adults.

Design: Cross-sectional study using complex sampling design analyses.

Setting: The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted from 2008 to 2013.

Subjects: Normal-weight participants aged 40-69 years with BMI of 18·5-25·0 kg/m2 (n 11 289, 4491 men and 6798 women) were included. Abdominal obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥90 cm for men or ≥85 cm for women. Alcohol drinking pattern was assessed by self-report on questionnaires.

Results: Among 11 289 normal-weight participants, 7·9 % (n 379) of men and 7·6 % (n 609) of women had abdominal obesity. Both men and women who consumed a higher quantity of alcohol per drinking occasion had higher odds (OR; 95 % CI) for abdominal obesity compared with individuals who consumed fewer than 2 drinks (1·86; 1·04, 3·32 for ≥10 drinks/typical occasion in men; and 3·28; 1·13, 9·46 in women). Men who binge drink every day had higher odds for abdominal obesity (2·10; 1·21, 3·63). In both sexes, frequency of alcohol drinking was not associated with normal-weight abdominal obesity.

Conclusions: Our study showed that the amount of alcohol drinking per occasion influenced abdominal obesity in normal-weight, middle-aged individuals that may have impacted obesity-related health risks. Healthy alcohol drinking habits need to be controlled for prevention of abdominal obesity even among persons with normal weight.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Alcohol drinking; Normal weight.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / etiology
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waist Circumference