By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Ladies, great news today! According to the New York Times, "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 study was published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, and get this: It states that compared with nondrinkers, the risk of becoming overweight is almost one third lower for middle-aged women who drink one or two "alcohol beverages" a day (let's just cut the mumbo-jumbo and say WINE).
Other gems buried in the research: The less-weight-gain-if-you-drink rule doesn't apply to men (sorry, guys, I'll just drink your wine for you), for two reasons. First, alcohol seems to speed up a woman's metabolism, but not a man's. So we might actually burn calories drinking wine? Is that like the story that chewing the grapefruit uses up more calories than the grapefruit contains? How great is that?
Second, men tend to add the calories from alcohol to their daily caloric total, where women will substitute alcohol for food. I know if I'm given the choice between more wine and more food, nine times out of 10 the wine wins. How many times have I been in a restaurant, and when the waiter asks a table full of ladies if we'd like to see the dessert menu, and we all look at each other and shake our heads ... but we're happy to have another glass of wine! We'd rather spend our calories on a small glass of chardonnay than a plateful of Death By Chocolate. Everything in moderation.
Some studies suggest that red wine specifically "appears to inhibit the development of fat cells and to have other anti-obesity properties," but presumably only for women. The good news just keeps coming! Note there is no mention of killing brain cells anywhere in this story, so that's a relief. Maybe that only happens in men ...
If you read through the comments on the New York Times coverage, you'll see an interesting note from a doctor, that if you drink alcohol right before you go to bed you're more likely to put on weight and not sleep well; it's better to drink your wine three to four hours before bedtime. So I'm on the right track sipping wine while I cook dinner and watch the news. Ladies, care to join me for a glass of cabernet and a chorus of "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar" tonight?