Women's health * Men's health * Healthy living * Weight loss

Binge drinking adds four inches to a woman's waist

binge drinking can add 4 inches to waistline ...and two inches to a man's

Binge drinking is a major health and social problem, but it has now also been implicated in the growing obesity epidemic in the UK.

New research has shown that binge drinking - drinking a large amount of alcohol in a single session - can add more to your waistline that regularly drinking small amounts, especially if you are a woman.

Women who regularly drink a bottle of wine or more in a single session can add as much as four inches to their waistline, resulting in the much derided 'muffin top'.

Too many lager sessions with the boys can add two inches to a man's girth. Surprisingly, men who drink no more than two pints a day see hardly any change in their waist size.

These results are from a study carried out by researchers at University College London, who looked at the habits of nearly 30,000 people in Eastern Europe between 2002 and 2005.

The group contained around 20% identified as binge drinkers - people who drink more than 10 units of alcohol in one session at least once each month.

Male bingers had waistlines on average two inches greater than non-bingers and for women the figure was a gut-busting four inches.

The leader of the study, Professor Martin Bobak, said that "It's not necessarily the volume but the pattern."

However, he was unable at this stage to explain why binge drinking should have this effect, or if it is due to other, related factors such as stress.

This article was published on Wed 2 September 2009

Image © Knut Ekanger - Fotolia.com

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