Friday, January 10, 2014

Research Update

Do we eat more when we drink alcohol?

The Study
1,864 men and women were selected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who reported drinking alcohol on one of their 24 hour dietary recalls and not the other. The amount of calories consumed on drinking versus nondrinking days were compared. When drinking alcoholic beverages, men consumed an extra 168 non-alcohol calories with increases in saturated fat, sodium, meat, and potatoes. Women consumed a nonsignificant 93 more calories on days when they drank alcohol and consumed a higher amount of saturated fat.  The authors noted that alcohol has been shown in the research literature to influence food related hormones. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 97:1086-75.

Take Home Message
If weight loss is your goal, you need to limit the alcohol. Alcohol is calorie dense at 7 calories per gram, and does tend to increase food intake. I have my weight loss clients shoot for no more than 4 drinks per week.

Soda and heart disease in kids

The Study
Everyone knows that sugar sweetened beverages, like soda and fruit drinks, are not the healthiest choice, but a recently published study in adolescents is truly eye-opening. 1,433 Australian teens had their sugar sweetened beverage consumption measured by a food frequency questionnaire at age 14 and 17. Girls who consumed the most sugar based beverages (greater than 1.3 servings per day) had a 3.8% increase in their BMI, a 5 times greater risk of overweight or obesity, and a 3 times greater prevalence of risk factors for heart disease. Girls who consumed the most of these beverages also had a significant increase in triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and a decrease in HDL cholesterol. Boys who consumed the most sugar sweetened beverages had a significant decrease in HDL cholesterol and significant increases in triglycerides and waist circumference. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 98:327-34.

Take Home Message
We have known for some time that soda and fruit drinks are associated with weight gain. The increases in risk factors for heart disease in the children in this study are alarming, to say the least. Soda’s and fruit drinks need to be strictly limited, or better yet, completely avoided.


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