It was earlier noted that losing weight can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. While the best practice for weight loss often includes decreasing or eliminating calories from alcohol, few studies examined whether people who undergo weight loss treatment report changes in alcohol intake and whether alcohol influences their weight loss.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania suggested that while alcohol consumption is not associated with short-term weight loss during a lifestyle intervention, it is associated with long-term weight loss in people with overweight or obesity and 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 control group 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.
"Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose weight should be encouraged to limit alcohol consumption," concluded lead researcher of the study, Ariana M. Chao.