What You Drink Affects How You Look
How often you drink alcohol, as well as what you drink and how much you drink, can influence your risk of heart disease by impacting the accumulation of abdominal fat, HealthCentral reports of new research from epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo that was published in the Journal of Nutrition. In other words, your drinking habits will affect the size of your waistline, which in turn will affect not only how you look, but also potentially how long you live. The Buffalo researchers, who studied the drinking habits and chronic disease risk of 2,343 randomly selected healthy men and women between the ages of 39 and 75, wanted to find out if the way people drink alcohol affects their abdominal fat accumulation and their risk for heart disease. Some of their findings may surprise you.
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What is abdominal fat?
Abdominal fat, also called "central adiposity," is measured by abdominal height. To get a quick look at how much abdominal height you have, lie down on your back and see how much of your tummy extends above your torso. The more tummy that sticks out, the more abdominal fat you have.
What do you drink?
The type of alcohol that's consumed seems to contribute differently to the accumulation of abdominal fat. Wine drinkers have the least abdominal fat, while liquor drinkers have the highest. Beer isn't associated with central adiposity.
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How often do you drink?
Men and women who binge drink--that is, drink infrequently but heavily--have more abdominal fat than people who drink small amounts of alcohol on a regular basis--even though the total amount of alcohol consumed over a set period of time may be the same for both groups. The takeaway: Binge drinking packs on the pounds. Interestingly, the University of Buffalo study showed that people who have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days have lower abdominal height than both men and women who abstain from alcohol.
How much do you drink?
The number of drinks matters. People who drank small amounts of alcohol on a regular basis had the smallest abdominal heights, while those who indulged in binge drinking of three or four drinks on one occasion had the highest measures. Here's the bottom line: For both genders, the more drinks that are consumed in a day, the higher the abdominal measurement.
Find out your Body Mass Index and how to determine your healthy weight.
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