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Heavy Drinking and Obesity in Young Adulthood

Scientists evaluated the association between heavy episodic drinking during early adulthood and transition to obesity over the course of five years. They identified 7,941 participants aged 18-26 and 24-32, respectively, who participated in the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Analysis of height/weight and self-reported alcohol use data showed that heavy episodic drinking was associated with a 41% higher risk of transitioning from normal weight to overweight and a 36% higher risk of transitioning from overweight to obese compared with those not drinking heavily. Additionally, heavy drinking was associated with a 35% higher risk of maintaining obesity and gaining excess weight.

The study “Heavy Drinking in Young Adulthood Increases Risk of Transitioning to Obesity,” is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.

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