Alcohol intake may be key to long-term weight loss for people with diabetes

December 3, 2018, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Alcohol intake may be key to long-term weight loss for people with Diabetes
Penn Nursing's Ariana M. Chao, Ph.D., CRNP, Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences. Credit: Penn Nursing

Research shows that losing weight can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. While best practice for weight loss often includes decreasing or eliminating calories from alcohol, few studies examine whether people who undergo weight loss treatment report changes in alcohol intake and whether alcohol influences their weight loss.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) suggests that alcohol consumption may attenuate long-term weight loss in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

In the study, close to 5,000 people who were overweight and had diabetes were followed for four years. One group participated in Intensive Lifestyle Intervention (ILI) and the other in a consisting of diabetes support and education. Data showed that participants in the ILI group who abstained from alcohol consumption over the four-year period lost more weight than those who drank any amount during the intervention. 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 in participants with overweight or obesity and Type 2 diabetes," says lead investigator Ariana M. Chao, Ph.D., CRNP, Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences. "Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose should be encouraged to limit ."

The study "Alcohol Intake and Weight Loss During Intensive Lifestyle Intervention for Adults with Overweight or Obesity and Diabetes," has been published in the journal Obesity.

Explore further: Interventions to delay and prevent type 2 diabetes are underused, researchers say

More information: Ariana M. Chao et al. Alcohol Intake and Weight Loss During Intensive Lifestyle Intervention for Adults with Overweight or Obesity and Diabetes, Obesity (2018). DOI: 10.1002/oby.22316

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