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Women: Drink Wine, Fight Weight Gain?

Studies Show that Majority of Wine Drinkers are Women, and that They Gain Less Weight with Alcohol Consumption

May 3, 2010

Women who drink alcohol, especially wine, in moderation might be more successful in keeping weight off
According to research conducted for the Wine Market Council, women make up the largest segment of wine consumers, with 53 percent of wine drinkers in the U.S. being female. And in 2009, women also matched men as "core drinkers," those who drink at least once a week. The number of female imbibers might grow even more with recent news of alcohol preventing weight gain in women.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that women who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol, especially red wine, are less likely to gain weight than nondrinkers and are at lower risk for obesity. The findings, reported in March of 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, were based on a study of more than 19,000 women in the United States over the age of 39 who were of "normal weight" based on their body mass index. About 60 percent were light or regular drinkers and the others were non-drinkers. Their drinking habits were tracked over 13 years, and the study concluded that the women who drank in moderation put on less weight and were less likely to become overweight, in comparison to those who did not drink.

Red wine was shown to be best at warding off weight gain, but white wine, beer and spirits were also beneficial. There have been previous studies on red wine and health, suggesting that that resveratrol (a compound found in grapes and red wine) provides health benefits. The new study is reportedly the first to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption by normal-weight individuals and the risk of becoming overweight.

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