One of the understood reasons why wine and alcohol in general are good complements to a meal is that it has been shown to stimulate short-term food intake. While is it is not known what exactly causes
this increase in food intake after alcohol consumption, there are several theories. First, it is possible the consumption of alcohol reduces the signals that tell the stomach that it is full. Second, alcohol consumption could trigger an increase in reward signaling of food (in other words, telling the brain that “ooo that food is really good for you!”, when in fact it may not be).
A new study published in the journal Appetite aimed to study the effect of alcohol consumption on food intake and to gain a better understanding of the mechanism behind this phenomenon.
24 healthy men were recruited for this study and were randomly assigned to consume either a vodka/orange juice mixture (20g alcohol; considered “moderate” levels) or orange juice without the alcohol. After consuming the beverage, participants were asked to either eat 40 gram piece cake or “pretend” to eat cake. Known as “modified sham feeding”, those participants asked to “pretend” to eat the cake had to put the cake in their mouths, process/chew it per the study instructions, and then spit it back out into a cup without actually swallowing any of it. Those asked to eat the cake did the same processing/chewing procedure, but actually swallowed the cake instead of spitting it out.
The food reward was determined by the amount of food ingested during a lunch 45 minutes after the alcohol/cake intervention. Foods were categorized as being high fat, low fat, savory, and sweet. Participant “liking” and “wanting” of these food categories was also recorded.
With an ever increasing number of obese adults in the west and throughout the westernized world, there is an associated increase in the numbers of adults (and children) with Type 2 diabetes. People are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes related to lack of exercise, unhealthy dietary choices, and excess weight or obesity.
Often occurring in association with Type 2 diabetes though not
exclusively is depression. Since the two diseases often occur together, a group of scientists recently aimed to examine whether or not diet, an important risk factor in developing Type 2 diabetes, had any effect on the prevalence of depression in patients with the disease.
4588 adults over the age of 18 were studied. Depression and diabetes statuses and usage of diabetes medications were determined via self-reported questionnaires. Fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels were also measured. Results were determined after controlling for the following factors: gender, age, marital status, education, race, “food insecurity level”, family income-to-poverty ratio, and serum C-reactive protein.
Diet types were categorizes by: healthy (i.e. Mediterranean-like diets), unhealthy (i.e. western diets), sweets, “Mexican-style”, and breakfast.
A collaboration between Italian and Spanish researchers has uncovered a possible relationship between binge eating disorder and adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
It is not well know what causes binge eating disorders, though it is understood to be related to mental illness and the compulsive need to eat without actually being hungry.
Studies focusing on the Mediterranean diet have shown that consumption may be related to a possible decreased risk of certain mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety, though until recently, there have been no studies examining possible connections between Mediterranean diet adherence and mental illness related to binge eating.
One recent study looked at a group of individuals at risk of developing binge eating disorders (1472 participants total) and asked them questions about their diet. The answers to these surveys resulted in an adherence to the Mediterranean Diet score for each participant. Questionnaires related to binge eating, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and total body fat were also given to participants to complete.