Alcohol is Harmful for Permanent Weight Loss in Diabetes [ UOP ]

People with type 2 diabetes who want to lose weight with a lifestyle intervention should stop using alcohol. Alcohol consumption reduces weight loss in the long term. This is the result of a survey of 2,448 overweight and diabetes people who have been followed for 4 years. The results are published in Obesity .
Weight Loss in Diabetes

Intensive lifestyle intervention

The participants followed a lifestyle intervention for 4 years, consisting of individual sessions and group sessions, aimed at improving the eating and exercise pattern. After 1 year and after 4 years it was checked how much the participants had lost weight and whether this was related to the amount of alcohol they consumed.

Total abstainers lose weight more

The research shows that alcohol consumption is not related to weight loss in the short term, but it is in the long term. After 1 year, the participants had lost on average 9 percent, regardless of their alcohol consumption. After 4 years a clear influence of alcohol consumption has been found. After 4 years, total abstainers weighed an average of 5 percent less than at the start of the study. Participants who did consume alcohol had a weight loss of 3.5 percent on average after 4 years. For heavy drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week for men and more than 7 for women), the weight loss was only 2.4 percent. After 4 years of lifestyle intervention, total abstainers, on average, lost more weight than alcohol drinkers. There is also a larger share of total abstainers who had lost at least 10 percent after 4 years: no less than 28 percent. With the heavy drinkers, that was only 5 percent.

Alcohol consumption not reduced

In addition to diet and exercise advice, the participants in the lifestyle intervention were advised to reduce with alcohol. At the start of the study, 38 percent were total abstainers (no alcohol was drunk in the previous year). More than half, 54 percent, was a light drinker (less than 7 alcoholic drinks per week for men and less than 4 for women), 6 percent was a moderate drinker (7-14 drinks per week for men and 4-7 for women) and 2 percent was a heavy drinker. Despite the advice to reduce, alcohol consumption had remained the same after 4 years of lifestyle intervention. The researchers think that the advice to reduce was too voluntary and that it would have been better to dissuade alcohol completely.

Bron: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

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