People with type 2 diabetes could better improve their long-term weight loss by reducing their alcohol consumption, researchers have said.
US scientists reported these findings following an investigation into whether people who reported weight loss changes also reported changes in alcohol intake.
The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing research involved monitoring nearly 5,000 people who were overweight and also had type 2 diabetes across four years.
One group were given diabetes and educational support and the other set of people were exposed to Intensive Lifestyle Intervention (ILI).
After the four-year study period, the findings suggested that those who did not drink alcohol in the ILI group lost more weight than those who did drink in the same group.
Results from the study also showed that heavy drinkers in the ILI group were less likely to have clinically significant weight loss over the four years.
“This study indicates that while alcohol consumption is not associated with short‐term weight loss during a lifestyle intervention, it is associated with worse long-term weight loss in participants with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said lead author Ariana Chao, Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Department of Biobehavioural Health Services.
“Patients with type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose weight should be encouraged to limit alcohol consumption.”
The findings suggest that reduced drinking could improve weight loss and there are likely to be other health benefits in addition.
However, a factor to consider is that many forms of alcohol, such as beer, lager, cider and many cocktails, are a significant source of carbohydrate which can increase the risk of weight gain. On our award-winning Low Carb Program we look at which forms of alcohol have fewer carbs to lower the risk of weight gain and improve blood glucose levels for those who wish to drink in moderation.
The findings of the trial have been published in the Obesity journal.