Research disputes claims that light alcohol consumption may protect against diabetes and weight problems

A glass of wine every night shouldn’t be good for your well-being, scientists have now warned.

Researchers say that even light consumption, listed as one drink a day, can make people fatter.

This, in turn, can lead to type 2 diabetes, say Canadian experts.

The study, which includes information from more than 400,000 Britons, brings to light decades of controversy over the harms of sensible intake.

Some analyzes show that a daily drink can prevent many diseases. However, others have argued that even light ingestion is harmful.

The study, conducted by lecturers at McGill University in Quebec, was observational. All British Biobank participants have been asked to self-report their BMI and alcohol consumption. Scientists found one extra glass a week saw an average increase in fat mass of 0.36kg, a 1.08kg risk of weight problems and a 1.1kg risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

So how much is TOO much?

NHS advice states that adults should drink no more than 14 drinks a week.

That’s 14 individual photos of alcoholic beverages or six pints of beer or one and a half bottles of wine.

They also need to stretch their intake over three or additional days to stop overconsumption.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans drink no more than 14 regular alcoholic beverages per week for men and 7 for girls.

A typical alcoholic drink consists of 12 ounces of 5% beer, 8 ounces of seven percent malt liquor, 5 ounces of 12% wine, or 1.5 ounces of stout with rum, gin, vodka, or whiskey.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol over the years has been associated with many well-being problems, including hypertension, the possibility of stroke, and several other types of cancer.

But critics have pointed to flaws in the latest analysis revealed in it Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The study, conducted by lecturers at McGill University in Quebec, was observational.

All British Biobank participants have been asked to self-report their BMI and alcohol consumption.

This meant that the researchers could see that the heaviest drinkers, who consumed 14 drinks a week, weighed more than the different teams.

The researchers found that for every extra drink a week, individuals gained 0.36 kg of extra fat and were ten percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

These associations were stronger in girls than in boys, the researchers said.

But the study, by design, did not distinguish between the results of alcohol and various elements that could affect weight, critics said.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, told MailOnline: ‘The finding that heavy drinkers tend to be fatter than non-drinkers is not particularly surprising.

‘We don’t talk about beer bellies for nothing.

“But the methodology of this study is too crude to tell us anything we don’t already know about the benefits of moderate drinking.”

He added that the method used in the study, known as Mendelian randomization, “is a useful tool for some scientific endeavors, but has so far proven to be virtually useless when it comes to lifestyle epidemiology.”

The author of the study, Dr. Tianyuan Lu said: “Some studies have shown that moderate drinkers are less likely to develop obesity or diabetes compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.

“However, our research shows that even light to moderate alcohol consumption does not protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes in the general population.

“We hope our research will help people understand the risks of alcohol consumption and inform future public health guidelines and advice on alcohol consumption.

“We want our work to encourage citizens to choose alternative healthier behaviors to drinking.”

Figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) 2022 report show that Britons drank 9.7 liters of pure alcohol per adult in 2020, which is 0.1 less than the EU average.

It comes after that World Health Organization (WHO) officials in January warned that no amount of alcohol is safe.

WHO estimates that alcohol abuse kills 3 million people worldwide each year.

But earlier this month, scientists in the US found that regular low levels of alcohol lead to a long-term reduction in stress signals in the brain that are linked to heart attack and stroke.

Using brain scans from more than 700 people, when researchers looked at the individuals’ history of cardiovascular events, they found fewer heart attacks and strokes among light to moderate drinkers.

Although alcohol has long been known to reduce the amygdala’s response to threatening stimuli, ingestion is key to long-term neurobiological outcomes.

The amygdala is the world of the mind, primarily associated with emotional processes.

Britons are encouraged not to drink more than 14 glasses a week, the equivalent of six pints of lager or ten small glasses of wine.

The NHS additionally recommends spreading the ingestion over three or additional days to avoid overconsumption.

Meanwhile, the US says girls can have no more than seven regular drinks a week, and men 14..

These measures include a medium glass of wine and 340 ml of beer, which is close to the size of a standard bottle.

Excessive alcohol consumption can completely damage the liver and cause quite a few cancers and increase blood pressure.


A screening tool commonly used by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). A 10-question test developed with the World Health Organization is used to decide whether someone is abusing alcohol.

The check is reproduced here with the permission of WHO.

To complete it, answer each question and submit the corresponding rating.


0-7: You are within reasonable intake limits and are at low risk of alcohol-related problems.

More than 8: Indicates hazardous or harmful ingestion.

8-15: Medium danger stage. If you drink at this stage, you are risking your well-being and life in essence, which corresponds to work and relationships. Consider cutting (see suggestions below).

16-19: Increased likelihood of alcohol related problems. Cutting again on your own at this stage will be difficult as you may become addicted, so you may want qualified help from your GP and/or counsellor.

20 and over: Addiction is possible. Your intake is already causing problems and you may be very dependent. You should definitely consider stopping regularly or at least taking a lot less. You should seek professional help to figure out your addiction and the safest way to stop ingesting.

Severe addiction may require medical attention or detoxification in a hospital or specialized clinic. This is due to possible extreme withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours that require professional help.

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