Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Drinking Guide for Women

Today’s cash collection amounted to RM38 – my Entrepreneurship class contributing half of the said amount – and the sum thus far adds up to a grand total of RM1312.


I came across this interesting report in The New York Times today. Dieters are often advised to stop drinking alcohol to avoid the extra calories lurking in a glass of wine or a favorite cocktail. But new research suggests that women who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol are less likely to gain weight than nondrinkers and are at lower risk for obesity.

The findings, reported this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are based on a study of 19,220 United States women aged 39 or older who, at the start of the study, fell into the “normal weight” category based on their body mass index. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston tracked the women’s drinking habits over 13 years. About 60 percent of the women were light or regular drinkers, while about 40 percent reported drinking no alcohol.

Over the course of the study, 41 percent of the women became overweight or obese. Although alcohol is packed with calories (about 150 in a six-ounce glass of wine), the nondrinkers in the study actually gained more weight over time: nine pounds, on average, compared with an average gain of about three pounds among regular moderate drinkers. The risk of becoming overweight was almost 30 percent lower for women who consumed one or two alcohol beverages a day, compared with nondrinkers.

The trend toward less weight gain among drinkers doesn’t appear to hold true for men. A 2003 study of British men showed that regular drinkers gained more weight than nondrinkers. Studies suggest that drinking alcohol has different effects on eating habits among men and women. Men typically add alcohol to their daily caloric intake, whereas women are more likely to substitute alcohol for food. In the Archives study, women who drank alcohol reported fewer calories from food sources, particularly carbohydrates.

In addition, there may be differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. Metabolic studies show that after men drink alcohol, they experience little if any metabolic change. But alcohol appears to slightly speed up a woman’s metabolism.

So ladies, raise your glasses! And when you do drink, you do not even need to feel guilty!

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