Does drinking red wine prevent obesity? No, no it doesn’t.

When you read that you can lose weight by drinking red wine, that’s a statement that you should interpret cautiously.

The headlines on red wine and weight loss stemmed from a recent animal study investigating the effects of a purified form of the phytochemical resveratrol on preventing obesity and related complications. The authors determined that resveratrol converts a type of fat called white adipose tissue into brown fat, which is a more metabolically active (and energy-burning) type of fat that can lead to weight loss.

So why the leap to red wine in recent headlines? Resveratrol is  primarily concentrated in grapes and a limited number of other foods such as peanuts and some berries. And red wine makes a catchy headline.

Sources of ResveratrolBut although red wine is a source of resveratrol, it carries side effects with it such as being highly concentrated in calories and alcohol, all of which can promote weight gain and increase risk for disease when Continue reading


Globally, Sugary Beverages May Lead to 184,000 Deaths from Cancer, Other Diseases

Sugary sodas and other drinks lead to an estimated 184,000 deaths around the world each year, including over 6,000 from cancers alone, suggests a new analysis that quantified the effects of these drinks for the three leading causes of death.SodaGlass_canstockphoto2131264

While many health organizations — including AICR — recommend avoiding sugary drinks, this analysis highlights the powerful effect that cutting out one single part of the diet may have, independent of other healthy changes.

For cancer, AICR research has found that sugary drinks lead to weight gain and being overweight, which is linked to increased risk of ten cancers.

In this analysis, sugar sweetened beverages was defined as any beverage that contained at least 50 calories per serving. This included sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, and homemade drinks: 100 percent fruit juice was excluded. Continue reading


Lobbyists Move to Weaken the Dietary Guidelines; Help Us Protect Them

Food industry lobbyists are exerting pressure on Congress to weaken the soon-to-be-released 2015 USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If they succeed, the Guidelines will put politics before sound science, and fail to provide useable guidance for Americans that could help prevent thousands of cancers every year.

ShowImage.ashxIn two new appropriations bills now under consideration by Congress, language has been added that would:

  1. Subject the Dietary Guidelines to an arbitrary standard of evidence that doesn’t align with accepted scientific practice observed by other government entities like the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institutes of Medicine, as well as the World Health Organization.
  2. Not allow the Dietary Guidelines to make recommendations on issues closely related to food and nutrition. This would mean, for example, that the clear and convincing evidence about the impact of obesity and inactivity on cancer and other chronic diseases would not be considered.
  3. Prevent the Dietary Guidelines from:
    1. proposing public health ideas to help Americans decrease our national intake of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars
    2. encouraging Americans to increase our physical activity, and
    3. providing practical guidance to families about healthy eating and living

These changes would represent a huge step backward in national health policy, and – crucially, from AICR’s perspective – mean that much of the evidence showing how people can lower their cancer risk would be effectively ignored, including the latest AICR research on the clear and convincing link between obesity and ten of the most common forms of cancer. Continue reading