Does A Drink a Day Really Help with Weight Control?

Women drinking wineLight to moderate drinking may keep women from gaining too much weight, according to the researchers from the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In their recent 13-year study of normal-weight women younger than 50, those who drank light to moderate amounts of alcohol daily, gained less weight and had a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese than either teetotalers or those who drank too much.

These findings and conclusions are highly controversial for a number of reasons. Experts do agree that further research is needed to confirm these conclusions, but certainly the findings should not be used as a license to drink. 

The fact remains that alcohol is well known to increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, and breast.  Regular consumption of even a few drinks per week is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. In fact, the American Cancer Society warns that those at high risk of breast cancer may want to consider not drinking any alcohol at all.

Source reference:
Wang L, et al “Alcohol consumption, weight gain, and risk of becoming overweight in middle-aged and older women” Arch Intern Med 2010; 170(5): 453-61.

Source: “Cheers! A Drink a Day May Keep the Pounds Away”, MedPage Today, March 8, 2010

Source: “Common Questions about Diet and Cancer” from the American Cancer Society

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