Over the years, attempts have been made to define the contribution of excessive alcohol consumption to changes in body composition and body fat content. There is no doubt that excessive alcohol consumption leads to destruction of the liver, and thus associated body composition changes, and that many alcoholics appear undernourished, as they drink rather than eat, but the actual contributions of alcohol intake to body composition and body fat have been poorly studied. In the next section, some of the studies on the affect of alcohol on body fat and body composition will be examined. A proposed study to define the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on changes in body fat and body composition will be outlined. Knowing how alcohol affects body composition may give clinicians a clue as to how to restore normal body conditions in the treatment of alcoholics. It may also indicate what chemical interventions could be used to reduce the cravings for alcohol and prevent its destructive effects on the body.
Body fat percentages can be predicted from body density measured by underwater weighing using simple anthropometric measurements (7). Stepwise-multiple-regression analysis can be used. The [Log sub 10] sum of four skinfold thicknesses, and equations using limb lengths instead of height may be valuable for epidemiologic and clinical work. Combining triceps-skinfold thickness with other anthropometric measurements can also be used. The most powerful predictor appears to be waist circumference and triceps-skinfold thickness. Skinfold-thickness measurements continue to give good predictions of measured body density, but with significant bias at extremes of body fat and age. The best prediction with the least bias is from waist circumference adjusted for age.
Effect of Alcohol on Body Composition
A study was carried out at a university hospital in Italy to evaluate the influence of chronic alcohol abuse on body comp...