Background: Patients on dietary, weight-reducing treatment commonly are advised against alcohol consumption. In light of the widespread use of alcoholic beverages and the well-established benefits of light to moderate alcohol consumption in risk reduction, a revision of dietary treatment recommendations may be warranted.
Objective: To investigate whether daily consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol influences the effectiveness of an energy-restricted diet in overweight and obese subjects.
Design: A prospective randomized clinical trial was conducted, with a 3-months intervention period and two isocaloric dietary regimens containing 6.3 MJ (1500 kcal) each, one with 10% of energy from white wine and one with 10% of energy from grape juice. The trial was performed in obese subjects being recruited from the Obesity Outpatient Clinic at the University Hospital, Ulm, who all habitually consumed moderate amounts of alcohol. Out of 87 patients, 49 were eligible to participate and 40 completed the study (age 48.1+/-11.4 y, BMI 34.2+/-6.4 kg/m(2)). Efficacy parameters were body weight and biomarkers of good health.
Results: All subjects achieved significant body weight reduction. Weight loss in the grape juice group and white wine group was 3.75+/-0.46 and 4.73+/-0.53 kg, respectively. Percent body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol were reduced. The antioxidant status was unchanged, as were liver enzyme activities and other safety parameters. There were no significant differences between the groups.
Conclusions: An energy-restricted diet is effective in overweight and obese subjects used to drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. A diet with 10% of energy derived from white wine is as effective as an isocaloric diet with 10% of energy derived from grape juice.