Moderate Drinking Associated with Reduced Weight Gain in Women

Published: October 15, 2012

According to a prospective cohort study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women of normal weight who drink alcohol in light to moderate amount are less likely to be overweight than nondrinkers.

Study participants consisted of over 19,000 women over 38 years of age who were of normal body mass index (BMI) and free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes mellitus. A baseline of alcohol consumption and body weight was set for each via a questionnaire. Body weight was reported again each year for the 8 following years.

During almost 13 years of follow-up, approximately 8,000 women became overweight (about 700 obese). and researchers observed an inverse relationship between weight gain and alcohol consumption.

"Compared with nondrinkers, initially normal-weight women who consumed a light to moderate amount of alcohol gained less weight and had a lower risk of becoming overweight and/or obese during 12.9 years of follow-up," the study authors write. "An inverse association between alcohol intake and risk of becoming overweight or obese was noted for all four types of alcoholic beverages [red wine, white wine, beer and liquor], with the strongest association found for red wine and a weak yet significant association for white wine after multivariate adjustment."

The study authors concluded that "results suggest that women who have normal body weight and consume a light to moderate amount of alcohol could maintain their drinking habits without gaining excessive weight."


Arch Intern Med. 2010;170:453-461.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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