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'Gold-Standard' Study: Water Does Help Weight Loss


Greg Riegler via Flickr
Water seems to help weight loss

It's virtually free! It has no health downside unless you drink gallons of it! It really does help you lose weight!

Some encouraging news out of the American Chemical Society convention now under way in Boston: A "gold-standard" clinical trial — randomized and controlled so that some dieters drank water and some didn't — confirmed the old wisdom that drinking more water aids weight loss. Other research had recently called into question the maxim that we should drink eight glasses of water a day.

From the American Chemical Society's report:

"We are presenting results of the first randomized controlled intervention trial demonstrating that increased water consumption is an effective weight loss strategy," said Brenda Davy, Ph.D., senior author on the study. "We found in earlier studies that middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. In this recent study, we found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake."

Water seems to help weight loss because it fills up the stomach with a zero-calorie substance, Davy said, and possibly because it replaces higher-calorie drinks. How much should you drink? Federal researchers say you should let thirst be your guide, but men should drink about 13 cups of fluid a day, and women about nine.

Now where did I put that Nalgene bottle??

p.s. Am I suspicious of the funding on this study? I don't think so, but the existence of this group struck me as slightly odd:

The Institute for Public Health and Water Research, a non -profit, independent science and education organization whose mission is to improve public health through the consumption of quality drinking water, funded the study.

This program aired on August 24, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.

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