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Women Who Drink Gain Less Weight

Women Who Drink Gain LessWeightA new study suggests a surprising correlation — women who drink moderately appear to be better at keeping the weight off than those women who don’t drink at all.

In a study of nearly 20,000 women conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston by Lu Wang and colleagues, normal-weight women aged 38 or older were asked how many alcoholic beverages they typically drank in a day. Researchers then tracked the women for nearly 13 years.

What the researchers found surprised even them — women who didn’t drink at all gained the most weight over the time period. Women who drank one or two glasses of wine or equivalent had a 30 percent lower risk of becoming overweight. Red wine had the strongest impact, but white wine, beer and spirits also showed a similar inverse relationship between alcohol intake and the risk of gaining weight.

The study took into account many alternative explanations for the weight gain, including diet, exercise, and smoking. The researchers found that as alcoholic intake increased, weight decreased.

The authors cautioned, however, against making recommendations about alcohol as a tool against obesity, given the potential health and social problems associated with heavy drinking.

The researchers theorized that the reason women may lose weight while drinking moderately is because they tend to substitute alcohol for other foods, whereas men tend to eat just as much when they imbibe.

This research adds to the existing evidence base that demonstrates that alcohol — most usually red wine — has beneficial health effects when taken in moderation on a daily basis. This effect, called the French paradox, is thought to explain why the French — who consume a rich diet but also drink a lot of red wine — don’t suffer inordinately from health problems typically associated with such a diet.

The article was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine

Women Who Drink Gain Less Weight

Psych Central News Editor

APA Reference
News Editor, P. (2018). Women Who Drink Gain Less Weight. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 17, 2019, from
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Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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