Posted on Jun 27, 2023, 2 p.m.
According to a study recently published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, despite theories speculating that moderate alcohol consumption may benefit health, this study found that even those who limit themselves to 1-2 drinks per day do not have any better protection against obesity or type 2 diabetes.
Alcohol consumption represents a significant health concern due to it being related to many medical conditions. Excessive alcohol consumption is well known to cause a wide range of health issues, but mild to modest consumption is a controversial subject with proponents supporting consumption and others highlighting that the risks aren’t worth it.
“Some research has indicated that moderate drinkers may be less likely to develop obesity or diabetes compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. However, our study shows that even light-to-moderate alcohol consumption (no more than one standard drink per day) does not protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes in the general population,” said Tianyuan Lu, Ph.D., from McGill University in Québec, Canada. “We confirmed that heavy drinking could lead to increased measures of obesity (body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, fat mass, etc.) as well as increased risk of type 2 diabetes.”
For this study, the researchers assessed the alcohol intake of 408,540 participants who were enrolled in the UK Biobank, and they report finding that those who drank 14+ drinks per week had a higher fat mass as well as a higher risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, these associations were stronger in women than they were in men. According to the researchers they were not able to find any data that supported any beneficial associations between moderate alcohol consumption and improved health outcomes in those who drank less than or equal to 7 alcoholic beverages per week.
“We hope our research helps people understand the risks associated with drinking alcohol and that it informs future public health guidelines and recommendations related to alcohol use,” Lu said. “We want our work to encourage the general population to choose alternative healthier behaviors over drinking."
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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