Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alcohol in the News; hey babe, can I buy you a beer?

From Time

Study: Women Who Drink Tend to Be Thinner

For anyone trying to lose weight, one of the first indulgences to get cut from their diet is alcohol. After all, alcohol packs 7 kcal/g - a good-size glass of wine packs more than 150 calories - an extravagance that could stymie efforts to slim down.

But maybe it's time to put that wine glass back on the table. New findings from researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston reveal that women who drink moderately are less likely to gain weight over time than those who don't. Before you start stocking your kitchen with vodka instead of vegetables, however, experts caution that the relationship between alcohol and weight may not be that simple.

After 13 years, women consuming the highest amount of alcohol per day (more than two drinks daily) were 30% less likely to be overweight and nearly 70% less likely to be obese than non-drinkers, the team found.

The association led the team to consider several possible explanations. First, it could be that women who drink more simply substitute alcohol for other sources of calories - in essence adopting a form of the liquid diet. Indeed, when the researchers analyzed the data, it appeared that the women who drank the most got fewer of their total calories from nonalcoholic sources than other women, but also consumed the most calories overall. Women having one to two drinks daily, for example, consumed 1,738 kcal/day, compared to the 1,670 kcal/day of teetotalers, but they took in 177 fewer kcal/day from nonalcoholic sources. Whether or not this substitution is a conscious decision on the women's part still isn't clear, and the study wasn't designed to find out.

Basically, the story says that women who drink tend to eat less, and use the alcohol calories INSTEAD of food calories. Men who drink tend to drink AND eat.

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