THE SKINNY ON ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Looking to shed some weight in this New Year? Here’s an additional incentive. A new study has found that moderate alcohol consumption may only be beneficial for your heart if you are thin. Scientists at Australia’s Curtin University have discovered that if you are overweight, rather than boosting your heart’s health, moderate alcohol consumption may actually put it at risk. Dr. Tim Lobstein and Professor Mike Daube acknowledged that previous studies show that a little alcohol may lower your risk of heart disease, while a lot will raise the risk. However, the researchers in Perth were concerned that the data used in these studies had come from surveys taken more than 4O years ago when people were much slimmer than they are today. Dr. Lobstein, who co-authored the research, said that the findings from a previous generation may not apply to our modern, fatter population, so they revisited the data in the classic Framingham Heart Study and examined the differences between slimmer and fatter men to see how the J-shaped curve held up. The researchers discovered that the health benefits still hold for slim men but not for those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 27.5. Healthcare professionals recommend that a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25. Dr. Lobstein concluded that the standard advice about a small amount of alcohol being good for the heart doesn’t stack up for overweight men. The study has been published in the australia and new zealand journal of public health.