Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey (HABLAS): Effects of container size adjustments on estimates of alcohol consumption across Hispanic national groups

Raul Caetano, Britain A. Mills, T. Robert Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was conducted to examine discrepancies in alcohol consumption estimates between a self-reported standard quantity-frequency measure and an adjusted version based on respondents' typically used container size. Method: Using a multistage cluster sample design, 5,224 Hispanic individuals 18 years of age and older were selected from the household population in five metropolitan areas of the United States: Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles. The survey-weighted response rate was 76%. Personal interviews lasting an average of 1 hour were conducted in respondents' homes in either English or Spanish. Results: The overall effect of container adjustment was to increase estimates of ethanol consumption by 68% for women (range across Hispanic groups: 17%-99%) and 30% for men (range: 14%-42%). With the exception of female Cuban American, Mexican American, and South/Central American beer drinkers and male Cuban American wine drinkers, all percentage differences between unadjusted and container-adjusted estimates were positive. Second, container adjustments produced the largest change for volume of distilled spirits, followed by wine and beer. Container size adjustments generally produced larger percentage increases in consumption estimates for the higher volume drinkers, especially the upper tertile of female drinkers. Conclusions: Self-reported alcohol consumption based on standard drinks underreports consumption when compared with reports based on the amount of alcohol poured into commonly used containers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-125
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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