There is an inexorable connection between wine and good health which has been written about here. I have been working under the assumption that the benefits, primarily associated with the resveratrol compound , lacked gender discrimination and manifested in lower rates of cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, and other killer diseases for men and women alike. As a male wine drinker doing my part to maintain my good health, I turned a bit jealous of my female wine comrades who are now proven to shed pounds by popping corks.
At Brigham and Women’s hospital, a study has been going on to determine the impact of wine and beer consumption on women’s weight. Today, Foodweek reported on the results:
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston asked more than 19,000, normal-weight US women aged 39 or older how many alcoholic beverages they typically drank in a day, and then tracked the women for about 13 years.
The largest single group – 7346 women or just over 38 per cent – said they didn’t drink a drop, according to the study published on Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association.
The second biggest group – 6312 women or nearly a third of those surveyed – reported drinking the equivalent of about a third of a 150ml (five ounce) glass of wine or a third of a 360ml (12 ounce) mug of beer. They did not explain how they managed to do so.
Twenty per cent of the women said they drank the equivalent of up to a glass of wine, a mug of beer, or a single-shot drink made with 80-proof spirits, while six per cent said they had up to two drinks a day and three per cent had more than two.
Over the 13-year follow-up period, the women who did not drink at all gained the most weight, and the women who had the equivalent of two drinks a day were the least likely to pack on pounds.
The best drink for keeping the pounds off was red wine, but all four types of tipple included in the study – red or white wine, beer and spirits – showed the same “inverse association between alcohol intake and risk of becoming overweight or obese”.
Good for the ladies. Personally, I have been fighting 15 pounds of excess weight all my adult life. I gain it and lose it and needless to say, it is harder to do the latter at my post 50-year-old stage of life. But, every time I lost weight, I limited my alcohol intake to red wine, albeit combined with increased exercise and reduced caloric intake overall. Now, if we can get 19,000 more men to march over to Beth Israel hospital and check in regularly for the next 13 years, maybe we can feel even better about the really good red wine we drink with gusto.