Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update Current Obesity Reports

Dose–response associations between BMI and each type of drink for total sample and by sex are shown in Figure 1A–C. In contrast, beer (0.07 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.03–0.11 kg/m2) and spirit (0.34 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.30–0.11 kg/m2) drinkers (defined as low consumption) had higher BMI than never drinkers (Figure 1A). We did not find any dose–response association for female beer drinkers. These associations were slightly attenuated for red wine (−0.38 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.44 to −0.32 kg/m2) and champagne/white wine (−0.10 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.16 to −0.04 kg/m2) drinkers (defined as high consumption). Male fortified wine (−0.14 kg/m2, 95% CI −0.25 to −0.04 kg/m2) drinkers (defined as high consumption) had lower BMI compared to never fortified wine drinkers.

  • There are also other elements that can cause weight gain outside of calorie content.
  • The inverse association between overall alcohol consumption status and BMI must be interpreted with caution.
  • “When you introduce alcohol to the system, it’s viewed as a poison that the body basically needs to detox,” says Tedd Girouard, director of the athletic training program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
  • What’s more interesting is the number of ways excessive alcohol affects your weight indirectly.

How should apple cider vinegar be incorporated into a diet for weight loss?

Drinking alcohol with diabetes medicine, especially on an empty stomach, may cause low blood sugar. ACV can be incorporated into the diet by diluting one to two tablespoons in a large glass of water and drinking it before meals. This can potentially aid in controlling appetite and enhancing digestion. Alternatively, it can be used as a salad dressing or added to recipes. Consuming undiluted ACV can damage tooth enamel and irritate the esophagus. It may also interact with certain medications and lead to low potassium levels if consumed in excessive amounts.

What scientific evidence supports the use of ACV for weight loss?

Further, studies show that alcohol temporarily inhibits “lipid oxidation” — in other words, when alcohol is in your system, it’s harder for your body to burn fat that’s already there. Excess alcohol can also turn to fat in your liver and can raise the amount of fat in your blood, says Sonya Angelone, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. People also tend to underestimate how much they’re drinking, Stanford says. A serving of wine, for example, is five ounces, but you probably pour more than that when you’re having a glass at home.

  • The presence of acetic acid is particularly noteworthy, as it has been linked to various health benefits, including potential effects on weight loss, which we will explore in the following sections.
  • It also impedes your ability to get a good night’s sleep, further contributing to belly fat.
  • If you’ve been drinking alcohol, you should drink water to quickly get rid of bloating in your face and stomach.
  • This refers to the amount of alcohol it takes for your inhibitions to be significantly lowered such that your energy intake substantially increases over the following 48 hours.
  • Still, there are a few things you may want to know about alcohol intake and body composition if you think drinking may affect your weight.
  • Drinking no more than one drink per day for females and two for males can help prevent bloating and other problems relating to alcohol use.

Alcohol can contribute to excess belly fat

It is highly likely that the paradoxical results seen in studies examining the effect of alcohol on weight gain and obesity are also the product of a multitude of factors beyond the individual’s ingestion habits. Future research must consider the other important factors that may influence the link between alcohol and obesity, some of which are discussed below. However, a clear cause-and-effect association between alcohol intake and weight gain is not apparent based on the mixed and conflicting available evidence on the topic. Given that both excessive alcohol intake and obesity are of public health concern, a better understanding of the association between alcohol consumption and excess body weight is warranted.

  • Go to an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting or set up an appointment with a mental health professional.
  • However, according to some of the studies referenced in the Traversy and Chaput article, lifestyle, rather than alcohol per se, may promote weight gain.
  • For example, Simon says that alcohol can affect levels of reproductive hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
  • Gram for gram, beer contains as many calories as a soft drink, so it has the potential to add a lot of calories to your diet (2, 3).

Plus, lower testosterone levels may affect quality of sleep, especially in older men. In this article, we describe how alcohol can cause a bloated appearance in the stomach. We also look into how long alcohol-related bloating lasts and how to get rid of it.

RELATED: ‘I Ate Carbs For Breakfast Every Day For A Week—Here’s What Happened’

If additional calories from alcohol are ingested, then daily calorie intake may be just high enough to slow weight loss, especially if the dieter is sedentary. Beyond adding energy to a meal, alcohol may actually stimulate food intake [5]. Of the 17 studies reviewed by Yeomans, ten showed increased food intake following alcohol consumption [5]. One explanation is that there is a learned association between alcohol and eating; however, several experimenters disguised the presence of alcohol in their protocols and still found increased energy intake [5]. It is unclear whether alcohol promotes food intake in the absence of hunger; however, it has been noted that alcohol may amplify individuals’ perception of appetite in response to food stimuli [5]. If the drinker compensates for the calories in alcohol by decreasing calorie intake from food, this would explain the lack of weight change with moderate drinking.

1. Overall Alcohol Consumption, BMI and Body Fat

Triglycerides are an essential source of energy, but high levels can increase the risk of serious health complications, like heart disease and stroke. Current research suggests that eggs don’t affect triglyceride levels or worsen the blood lipid profile. Although more research is needed, current dietary guidelines recommend eggs as part of a healthy diet. They increase LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and they decrease HDL cholesterol.

Alcohol has A LOT of calories.

Only around 5% of the target population took part in UK Biobank, and study members typically showed more favorable risk profiles than the non-responders, which is a possible source of bias. Nevertheless, select groups of the population tend to demonstrate similar risk factor–disease associations to those seen in the general population [55]. Add all of this together and it’s easy to see how drinking heavily can cause you to gain weight over time. That doesn’t mean you have to totally swear off alcohol if you want to lose weight—you just need to be smart about drinking. “The extra calories from moderate drinking (one serving of alcohol for women a day or two servings for men per day) can certainly fit into the calorie allotment for weight maintenance,” Angelone says. The important thing is that you factor those calories in along with what you eat, she says.

can drinking alcohol cause weight gain

Several experimental studies have been conducted to examine the short-term effect of alcohol intake on feeding behavior and appetite control [3•, 5]. In these studies, alcohol appears to have no effect on appetite, or to increase appetite [5]. However, to date there have been few intervention studies conducted to experimentally examine the effects of regular alcohol intake on weight gain or obesity in humans. All of the available studies have examined moderate intake of alcohol, and the majority have reported results on beer and wine intake, but not other forms of alcohol [3•, 5].


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