Eating Well, Health

Drinking And Weight Gain: Myth Or Reality?

Forget everything your spouse has told you about drinking and gaining weight. The truth, according to researchers at the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, is that there is no association between light to moderate alcohol intake and weight, for either men or women. New York Times health columnist Jane Brody reports on the research, which also found that binge drinking ( five or more drinks) and heavy drinking (more than four drinks in a day for men, or more than three for women) were linked to an increased risk of obesity and an expanding waistline. And now the bad news. Brody reports that other studies, particularly those that follow groups of people “had varied results and produced “no clear picture” of the relationship between alcohol and weight. Several found either no relationship or a negative relationship, at least in women, while others found that men who drank tended to risk becoming obese, especially if they were beer drinkers.” Brody’s bottom line: “Everyone is different. The studies cited above average the results among groups of people and thus gloss over individual differences. Even when two people start out weighing the same and eat, drink and exercise the same amount, adding alcohol to the mix can have different consequences.”

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