Moderate Drinking Won’t Limit Risk of Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes

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June 28, 2023 -- People might generally know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for health, but an idea persists that a little bit can be good for you.

New research, however, reveals that light drinking doesn’t have any protective effect against type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other endocrine conditions. 

The research was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“Researchers said their findings showed no benefits to alcohol consumption — even light to moderate drinking — when it comes to endocrine conditions,” Medical News Today reported.

“Heavy drinking has been associated with multiple adverse health outcomes, which is what we confirmed in this study,” said Tianyuan Lu, the lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. “However, there has been a long-standing debate on whether light drinking has protective effects. Our study found that light drinking does not protect against obesity or type 2 diabetes.”

The researchers examined data from more than 400,000 people involved in the U.K. Biobank project. They said that people who drink more than 14 alcoholic beverages a week had greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. They found no proof of improved health outcomes for people who drank seven or fewer per week.

The National Institutes of Health standards describe “heavy drinking” as more than two a day for men or one a day for women.

 “All evidence suggests there’s really no safe amount of alcohol,” said David Cutler, MD, of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California, who was not involved in the study.