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Weight Gain and Alcohol Intake
Heavy Drinkers Gain Weight and Increase Body Mass Index
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Weight Gain & Alcohol

Weight Gain Study Background
There is uncertainty as to whether regular alcohol consumption contributes directly to weight gain and the risk of obesity.

Weight Gain Study Aim
Examine the relation between alcohol intake and body weight and the association between changes in alcohol intake and in body weight over 5 years of follow-up.

Weight Gain Study Method
A prospective study of 7608 men aged 40-59 years drawn from general practices in 24 British towns, excluding persons with known diabetes. Five years after screening, 6832 men then aged 45-64 years and without diabetes completed a postal questionnaire on changes in alcohol intake and body weight.

Weight Gain Study Results
Mean body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) and the prevalence of men with a high BMI (28) increased significantly from the light-moderate to the very heavy alcohol intake group even after adjustment for potential confounders. Similar patterns were seen for all types and combinations of alcohol. After 5 years of follow-up, stable and new heavy drinkers showed the greatest weight gain and had the highest prevalence rates of high BMI. Weight change patterns in heavy drinkers at baseline who reduced their intake were not significantly different from those in the stable none-occasional group but showed more weight loss and less weight gain than in the stable or new heavy drinkers.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003
S Goya Wannamethee and A Gerald Shaper.

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