The National Obesity Observatory has published an overview of the links between obesity and alcohol.
Key points are
There are associations between alcohol and obesity and these are heavily influenced by lifestyle, genetic and social factors
Many people are not aware of the calories contained in alcoholic drinks
The effects of alcohol on body weight may be more pronounced in overweight and obese people
Alcohol consumption can lead to an increase in food intake
Heavy, but less frequent drinkers seem to be at higher risk of obesity than moderate, frequent drinkers
The relationships between obesity and alcohol consumption differ between men and women
Excess body weight and alcohol consumption appear to act together to increase the risk of liver cirrhosis
There is emerging evidence of a link between familial risk of alcohol dependency and obesity in women
The report conludes that although we do not fully undrstand the relationship between alcohol and obesity tackling over consumption of alcohol could dramatically improve health.
For practitioners it is one more reason to suggest to clients that they should drink sensibly or not at all.
The ‘Change4life’ drinks checker is a simple, interactive tool to help people check how much they drink. It will also give you some tips and ideas for cutting down. It can help you check how many units of alcohol are in the most common types of drinks (beer, wine, spirits and alcopops). You can choose by size, alcohol percentage (ABV) and the number of drinks you had.