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Alcohol use associated with 0.4 lbs weight gain over 4 years
Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:48 am Email this article
Alcohol use was associated with a weight gain of 0.4 pounds over 4 years according to a study by Harvard researchers. Subjects
Subjects: 120,877 U.S. women and men
The findings are based on data from three large, long-term government-funded trials looking at diet, lifestyle and health in adults: the Nurses’ Health Study, which has tracked 121,701 women since 1976; the Nurses’ Health Study II, which has followed 116,686 women since 1989; and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which includes 51,529 men enrolled in 1986.
The new analysis involves 20 years of data on 120,877 men and women from these three cohorts. Researchers tracked changes in participants’ eating and lifestyle habits—and weight—every four years.
Average Weight Gain
Average weight gain over 4 years: 3.4 lbs or 2.4%
The average 4-year weight gain in this study was 3.4 pounds or 2.4 percent of their body weight.
Comments from the Lead Author
Comments from Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian
“For diet, conventional wisdom often recommends ‘everything in moderation,’ with a focus only on total calories consumed,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and lead author of the study.
“Our results demonstrate that the quality of the diet — the types of food and beverages that one consumes — is strongly linked to weight gain.”
“Small dietary and other lifestyle changes can together make a big difference — for bad or good,” says Mozaffarian.
“That makes it very easy to gradually gain weight unintentionally, but also means that a little bit of attention to a handful of dietary and other lifestyle changes can prevent this.”
Study’s Limitations: self-reported portion size, and were white, educated adults
The study limitations included that it relied on self-reported portion size and used different serving sizes between foods.
The study was also of mostly white, educated adults.
Here are links to other articles about alcohol and weight that were published previously:
- Alcohol appears to lower the risk of obesity in women, but may increase the risk in men
- Sugar-bingeing increases inclination to use other drugs of abuse, such as alcohol
- Rats taught to binge on sugar, drink more alcohol when sugar is denied
- Frequently drinking small amounts of alcohol reduce risk of being overweight
- Men who consume more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day have more belly fat
- Small amount of alcohol lowers the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin by 14-18%
- Alcohol quantity increases body weight, however, alcohol frequency decreases body weight
- Alcohol consumption associated with weight regain in women
- Women who consume alcohol weigh 3-6 lbs less than those who do not drink
- Men who consume alcohol weigh 4-5 lbs more than men who do not drink according to study from France
- Women who drank 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day were 71% less likely to become obese over 12.9 years
- From 1965 to 2002, US adults consumed 108 calories from soda, 73 more calories from alcohol
- Calories from beverages increased from 236 calories in 1965 to 458 calories in 2002
- Girls who consumed 2 servings of alcohol per week gained 0.7 lbs more per year
- Alcohol abuse or dependence is not more common among obese people
- Regular alcohol consumption improves insulin resistance
- Low-carb diet can cause false-positive breath alcohol test
- Self-reported alcohol intake underreported 44 percent after one week
- Obese women eat more fat, less alcohol
- Obese food preferences: Comparing Men and Women—Women choose Sweets as their extravagance-of-choice more than twice as often as men—42 percent of women versus 17 percent of men, whereas men chose alcohol twice as often as women—44 percent of men versus 16 percent of women.
- Esophagus cancer: Overweight increases risk 3-fold: Tobacco and alcohol consumption are the primary causes
- Alcohol increases calorie intake
- Drinkers are leaner than non-drinkers
- Habits associated with staying lean
- High fat diets and alcohol increase consumption
Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 23, 364(25):2392-404.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH
665 Huntington Ave, Bldg. 2-319
Boston, MA 02115 USA
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