Health and Alcohol Intake (Men, Women, Wine)

A longitudinal study of almost 20,000 U.S. women is showing signs that moderate alcohol consumption (“one or two alcohol beverages a day”) can lower the risk for obesity and inhibit weight gain:

Over the course of the study, 41 percent of the women became overweight or obese. Although alcohol is packed with calories (about 150 in a six-ounce glass of wine), the nondrinkers in the study actually gained more weight over time: nine pounds, on average, compared with an average gain of about three pounds among regular moderate drinkers. The risk of becoming overweight was almost 30 percent lower for women who consumed one or two alcohol beverages a day, compared with nondrinkers. […]

The link between consumption of red wine and less weight gain was particularly pronounced. […] Some studies have suggested that resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, appears to inhibit the development of fat cells and to have other antiobesity properties.

The article also notes that while moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with “better heart health”, it has also been associated with an increase in breast cancer risk.

None of this is good news for men:

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, there may be differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. 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.

As before: this is still correlatory, but interesting nonetheless.