Estimated blood alcohol concentrations achieved by consuming supersized alcopops

Matthew E. Rossheim, Dennis L. Thombs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Producers of supersized alcopops have ignored requests from a number of state attorneys general to reduce the alcohol concentration in these products. To the contrary, new flavor options have since been released that contain even greater alcohol content so that some alcopop products now contain 5.5 standard alcoholic drinks in a single-serving can. Though alcohol content of supersized alcopops has risen, little attention has been paid to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level consumers can expect to achieve from drinking these products. Objectives: To estimate BAC levels expected from consuming one or two cans of supersized alcopop, relative to beer. Methods: Median weight data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used in Matthews and Miller’s (1979) BAC estimation formula. Results: Consuming a single supersized alcopop over the course of 2 hours can put youth and young adults well over the legal per se driving limit of 0.08 g/dL. Consuming two cans puts them at risk of alcohol poisoning. Conclusions: Estimates provided here show that supersized alcopop consumers obtain dangerously high BAC levels. Reductions in the alcohol content of supersized alcopops should be an urgent priority for public health policy and law.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-320
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 May 2018

Keywords

  • Blood alcohol concentration
  • Four Loko
  • Joose
  • alcopops
  • blood alcohol levels
  • flavored alcoholic beverages
  • formerly alcohol mixed with energy drink (AmED)
  • intoxication
  • ready-to-drink
  • underage drinking

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