Wine Information Council

Wine Information Council

The current meta-analysis showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of overweight/obesity and less weight gain.

The Mediterranean diet (Med Diet) – mainly a plant-based diet including moderate wine consumption – is regarded as one of the healthiest diets. A long-term adherence has been related to a lower risk of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, etc. Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, CVD, and many cancers and have an increased risk of dying.

Considering the high prevalence of obesity and its relation to chronic diseases, it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight.

Findings from earlier studies examining the relationship between the adherence to the Med Diet and overweight/obesity are inconsistent and the current research systematically reviewed all the published prospective studies which investigated this association.

The findings of this meta-analysis revealed that a higher adherence to the Med diet was linked to a lower risk of overweight and/or obesity as well as with less weight gain in adults during the 5 years of follow-up.  As possible explanation, the authors referred to the high fiber content of fruits and vegetables which could provoke satiety and a sensation of fullness.


Source: Lotfi K, Saneei P, Hajhashemy Z, Esmaillzadeh A. Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, Five-Year Weight Change, and Risk of Overweight and Obesity: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Adv Nutr. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):152-166. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab092. PMID: 34352891; PMCID: PMC8803490.

For more information about this article, click here.

The current study examined whether different alcoholic beverages (beer/cider, red and white wine/champagne, spirits) are differentially related to body composition.

Decades of epidemiological research have shown conflicting findings when it comes to intake of alcoholic beverages and adiposity. The intake of alcoholic beverages has been associated with both higher and lower body weight. Very few studies have assessed how specific types of alcoholic beverages may differentially influence body composition.

To assess how alcohol may influence body composition, the patterns of drinking for different alcoholic beverages need to be considered rather than simply assessing alcohol consumption as a whole.

In this study, American researchers not only used data such as drinking patterns, eating habits, demographic and anthropometric characteristics from the UK Biobank database but also analysed serum biomarkers and parameters of the body composition that were collected from the study participants. 1869 individuals, age 40-80 years, were included in the study. They were grouped according to their drinking preferences: 39% indicated no preference, 11% preferred beer or cider, 25% mostly consumed red wine, 16% mostly white wine or champagne and 7% other wines. Only 2% consumed most of the alcoholic beverages as spirits.

The results showed that a preference for beer or cider was directly associated with a greater visceral adipose mass, which could be explained with the respective biomarkers for lipid metabolisms and for insulin resistance. In contrast, greater red wine consumption was inversely related with visceral body fat1, which means that red wine drinkers had less of the unhealthy abdominal fat. The authors explained this observation with lower levels of biomarkers that are responsible for inflammation, a higher level of “good” HDL cholesterol and a better kidney clearance. White wine consumption showed no association with adiposity and interestingly, a better bone mineral density. As possible explanation referred the researchers to a higher concentration of a particular polyphenol in white wine compared to red wine.

Spirit consumption was related to a higher visceral body fat.

The authors concluded that a preference for beer and spirits could be linked to greater adiposity-associated weight gain in older white adults. In contrast, red wine consumption could be inversely related to visceral weight gain and white wine consumption may help to reduce age-associated bone mineral loss. They caution that these results can only be applied to older British individuals but if the described effects can be confirmed in further studies, moderate wine consumption could be considered beneficial in the prevention of overweight and its consequences, osteoporosis and fractures.


1Visceral fat is stored in a person’s abdominal cavity and is also known as ‘active fat’ as it influences how hormones function in the body. Because visceral fat is in the abdominal cavity, it is close to many vital organs, such as the pancreas, liver, and intestines.

The higher the amount of visceral fat an individual stores, the higher the risk for certain health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.


Source: Larsen, BA et al.: Beer, wine, and spirits differentially influence body composition in older white adults – a United Kingdom Biobank Study. Obesity Science and Practice 2022;1-16

For more information about this article, click here.

Glaucoma is one of the most common eye diseases and is characterized by the progressive damage of the optic nerve associated with the loss of the visual field. In addition to early detection and early reduction of the intraocular pressure, other risk factors to reduce the incidence of glaucoma have been examined.

The relationship between modifiable risk factors, such as diet and lifestyle, and glaucoma remains controversial. A Spanish research team has analysed the effect of the Mediterranean lifestyle (ML) on glaucoma incidence in the “Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra” (SUN) Project.

The SUN Healthy Lifestyle Score (SHLS) includes 10 healthy habits: never having smoked, moderate to high physical activity, Mediterranean diet adherence, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, low television exposure, no binge drinking, short afternoon napping, meeting up with friends, working at least 40 h/week, and low body mass index.

During the 12 year follow-up, 261 (1.42%) new cases of glaucoma were identified among the 18,420 participants. After adjusting for potential confounders, participants in the healthiest SHLS category showed a significantly reduced risk of glaucoma compared to those in the lowest SHLS category. For each point added to this healthy lifestyle score, the risk of glaucoma decreased by 5%.

The authors concluded that a higher adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle (more than 6 healthy habits), including moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, is protective against glaucoma risk.


Source: Moreno-Montañés J, Gándara E, Gutierrez-Ruiz I, Moreno-Galarraga L, Ruiz-Canela M, Bes-Rastrollo M, Martínez-González MÁ, Fernandez-Montero A. Healthy Lifestyle Score and Incidence of Glaucoma: The Sun Project. Nutrients. 2022 Feb 12;14(4):779. Doi. org/10.3390/nu14040779.


For more information about this article, click here.

Unhealthy eating patterns are – besides smoking and a sedentary lifestyle – contributing to a higher risk of degenerative diseases and a higher risk to die from any cause (all-cause mortality). Various beverages, especially sugar-sweetened beverages have also been implicated in contributing to various health problems. The intake of alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea and their health effect is less clear.

A new study examined how alcohol from wine and non-wine alcoholic beverages as well as coffee and tea are related to mortality from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and non-cancer. The consumption was assessed in 354386 participants of the UK Biobank study.

Consumption of red wine and champagne as well as white wine was included as wine intake whereas all other alcoholic beverages – beer, cider, spirits, fortified wine and other alcoholic drinks – were put in the non-wine category.

When the risk of dying (hazard ratio for mortality) was assessed, a significant J-shaped association between wine intake and all-cause mortality was detected. Wine consumption with the lowest risk of death ranged from 19 to 23 g of alcohol/day (up to 250 ml wine) in all participants even when assessed separately in men and women. A similar significant relationship was found for cardiovascular mortality with the lowest risk between 19 g (women) and 21 g (men) of alcohol/day.

Furthermore, moderate wine intake was not significantly associated with cancer mortality.

In contrast, non-wine intake was significantly and positively related - in a dose-dependent manner - to all causes of death, except for cardiovascular disease in women and with the lowest risk between 0 and 12 g of alcohol/d.

In summary, light to moderate wine consumption but not other alcoholic beverages (non-wine) was related to a decreased risk of dying from any cause and was not related to increased cancer mortality.


With regards to the other 2 beverages studied: coffee consumption (2 cups/day) was not related to increased mortality and tea intake was associated with a consistently decreased risk of all causes of death studied.



Source: Schaefer SM, Kaiser A, Behrendt I, Eichner G, Fasshauer M. Association of alcohol types, coffee and tea intake with mortality: prospective cohort study of UK Biobank participants. Br J Nutr. 2022 Feb 3:1-11. doi. org/10.1017/S000711452200040X.


For more information about this article, click here.

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