Can a drink a day keep the pounds away? Perhaps for the ladies.
Dieters tend to stop drinking alcohol to avoid the extra calories in a glass of wine or a cocktail. But new research suggests that women who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol are less likely to gain weight than nondrinkers and are at lower risk for obesity.
The NY Times reported on the findings this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which I will try to sum up here… the drinking habits of about 20,000 women aged 39 or older were tracked for 13 years. Over the course of the study, 41% of the women became overweight or obese. Of those overweight women, the nondrinkers in the study gained about nine pounds over time compared with an average gain of about three pounds among regular moderate drinkers.
Ipso fatso, the risk of becoming overweight was almost 30 percent lower for women who consumed one or two alcohol beverages a day, compared with nondrinkers.
Unfortunately, the same is not for the guys… a 2003 study of British men showed that regular drinkers gained more weight than nondrinkers. As a beer drinker, I can attest to this. Studies suggest that drinking alcohol has different effects on eating habits among men and women. Men typically add alcohol to their daily caloric intake, whereas women are more likely to substitute alcohol for food.
In addition, metabolic studies show that after men drink alcohol, they experience little if any metabolic change. But alcohol appears to slightly speed up a woman’s metabolism.
Read the full story at NYTimes.com.