Drinking Alcohol and Risk of Obesity

People who consume one or two drinks regularly are less likely to be obese than either people who don’t drink or people who drink heavily.

The study of 8,236 non-smokers from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III was conducted by Dr. Ahmed Arif of Tech Tech University Health Sciences Center and Dr. James Rohrer of the Mayo Clinic.

Current drinkers had a .73 lower chance of being obese than abstainers. On the other hand, heavy drinkers (those who consumer four of more drinks per day) were 46% more likely to obese than non-drinkers.

The exact ways that alcohol can reduce obesity is not well understood and the findings don’t mean that non-drinkers should begin consuming alcohol simply to reduce their weight.


  • Arif, Ahmed A., and Rohrer, James E. Patterns of alcohol drinking and its association with obesity: Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey, 1988-1994. BMC Public Health, 2005 (December 5), 5, 126.

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Filed Under: Health