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Water won't help you lose weight

22nd September 2008

A Japanese study has shown that drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day will not help people to lose weight, but that eating soups and stews might.

water

The study of more than 1,000 young women who were not dieting found no link between their weight and waist measurement and the amount of fluids they drank each day in the form of beverages.

But there was a link between body size and the amount of water consumed in the food eaten by participants.

While researchers emphasised that adequate fluid intake was still necessary to health, Kentaro Murakami and colleagues of University of Tokyo, Wayo Women’s University and Kagawa Nutrition University concluded that fluid from beverages did not aid weight loss.

In the study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Nutrition, Murakami and colleagues examined the association between water intake in beverages and foods and waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 1,176 female dietetic students aged 18 to 22.

After 40 women were excluded as having excessively high or low energy intakes, undergoing dietary counselling or as having diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, the study looked at dietary intake over a month using a questionnaire that assessed the consumption of different foods, alcoholic drinks and dietary supplements and also looked at the cooking methods involved.

The researchers found no significant associations between water intake through beverages and BMI or waist circumference. Increased water content of foods consumed was associated with slight decreases in waist circumference and BMI.

Higher water content foods are often associated with lower calorie and fat content.

Experts commented that the group was not representative of the broader population, and that the Japanese diet differed considerably from diets in other parts of the world. Relative levels of physical activity were assessed only “relatively roughly” by researchers.

Also, as the study only assessed dietary patterns over a one-month period, it might not be representative of longer-term patterns.

 

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