Intended for healthcare professionals


Food buying habits of people who buy wine or beer: cross sectional study

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 02 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:519
  1. Ditte Johansen, statistician1,
  2. Karina Friis, research assistant1,
  3. Erik Skovenborg, general practitioner2,
  4. Morten Grønbæk, professor (mg{at}
  1. 1 National Institute of Public Health, Øster Farimagsgade 5 A, DK-1399 Copenhagen K, Denmark
  2. 2 National Institute of Public Health, Øster Farimagsgade 5 A, DK-1399 Knebel, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to: M Grønbæk
  • Accepted 14 November 2005


Objective To investigate whether people who buy wine buy healthier food items than those who buy beer.

Design Cross sectional study.

Setting Supermarkets in Denmark.

Data Information on number, type of item, and total charge from 3.5 million transactions over a period of six months.

Results Wine buyers bought more olives, fruit and vegetables, poultry, cooking oil, and low fat cheese, milk, and meat than beer buyers. Beer buyers bought more ready cooked dishes, sugar, cold cuts, chips, pork, butter or margarine, sausages, lamb, and soft drinks than wine buyers.

Conclusions Wine buyers made more purchases of healthy food items than people who buy beer.


  • Contributors ES formulated the primary idea. DJ and MG initiated and coordinated the primary study hypothesis, discussed core ideas, designed the protocol, and wrote the paper. DJ collected and analysed the data. KF discussed the core ideas and participated in the interpretation of the data and the writing of the paper. ES discussed the core ideas and edited the paper. MG is guarantor.

  • Funding The Health Insurance Foundation and the Danish Ministry of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethical approval Not required because the data were anonymised.

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