Beverage consumption of Canadian adults

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by Didier Garriguet


According to results from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey—Nutrition, total beverage consumption among adults declined steadily with age. This reflects drops in the percentage of adults consuming most beverages and in the amounts consumed. While water was the beverage consumed most frequently and in the greatest quantity by adults, for many of them, coffee ranked second. Largely as a result of drinking coffee, more than 20% of men and 15% of women aged 31 to 70 exceeded the recommended maximum of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. About 20% of men aged 19 to 70 consumed more than two alcoholic drinks a day. Owing to declines in the consumption of soft drinks and alcohol, the contribution of beverages to adults' total calorie intake falls at older ages. Regardless of age, men were generally more likely than women to report drinking most beverages, and those who did, drank more. There were, however, a few exceptions, with higher percentages of women than men reporting that they drank water and tea.


alcohol drinking, caffeine, carbonated beverages, coffee, energy intake, milk, water consumption

The data

This article is based on data from the 24-hour dietary recall component of the 2004 CHMS. Respondents were asked to list all foods and beverages consumed during the 24 hours before the day of their interview (midnight to midnight). Interviewers used the Automated Multi-pass Method, with a five-step approach to help respondents remember what they had to eat and drink. [Full text]


Fluid intake, notably water, is essential for good health. Water plays a role in almost all body functions and is a major component of every cell, tissue and organ. It regulates temperature, transports oxygen and nutrients through the blood, helps get rid of waste, and provides a medium for biological reactions. Water is important for the digestion and absorption of food. It lubricates joints and moistens tissue in the eyes, mouth and nose. [Full text]


Didier Garriguet (1-613-951-7187; is with the Health Information and Research Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.