Moderate Drinking in Women Linked to Less Weight Gain

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Based on the results of study published in the March 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, normal-weight women who consume light to moderate amounts of alcohol appear to gain less weight and have less risk for obesity than nondrinkers.

The study included 19,220 US women aged 38.9 years or older who had a normal baseline body mass index of less than 25 kg/m2 and did not have any underlying disease. The investigators looked the relationship between alcohol intake and their weight gain during a 13 years follow-up.

To their surprise, they found that alcohol consumption was inversely related to weight gain. The relative risk of becoming overweight or obese was 1.00 for total alcohol intake of 0; then 0.96 for more than 0 to less than 5 g/day; 0.86 for 5 to less than 15 g/day; 0.7 for 15 to less than 30g/day; and 0.73 for 30 g/day or more.

The inverse relationship between alcohol intake and risk of overweight or obesity was found in all types of alcoholic beverages (red wine, white wine, beer and liquor), but it was strongest in red wine and weakest in white wine.

Since drinking alcohol related to lots of psychosocial and medical issues, the investigator cautioned individuals, who wish to consider drinking light to moderate amount of alcohol to control weight gain, to evaluate the risks and benefits of the drinking behavior.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(5):453-461.

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