Monday, August 20, 2018

Two New Studies Pour Cold Water On Water's Role In Weight Management

Two new studies are bound to disappoint those who still want to believe water makes a difference in weight management.

The first of these studies, Increasing water intake influences hunger and food preference, but does not reliably suppress energy intake in adults, asked participants to drink 500, 1000, 1500, or 2000ml of water in the morning before an all you can eat lunch buffet to see if doing so reduced how much people ate. The researchers found that even drinking 2L of water before lunch didn't reduce how many calories were consumed at the buffet.

The second, Complementary and compensatory dietary changes associated with consumption or omission of plain water by US adults, compared the self-reported dietary intake patterns (which you should know aren't generally thought to be be reliable) of individuals who had days recorded with and without water intake to see if there were a difference in calories reportedly consumed. There wasn't.

As to how pervasive the belief that water is a key player in weight management, you might be surprised by how many people I meet in my office who believe water drinking makes or breaks an effort, though when you consider the fact that 63.4% of adults in a recent US survey of weight loss practices cited water drinking as one of theirs, maybe it shouldn't be all that shocking.

In my mind the only thing that's surprising is that I would have thought it to be fairly self-evident, that water drinking was an incredibly minor player at best, because if drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day contributed even moderately to successful weight management, we'd see a great many more success stories walking around.

[That said, if you replace all your regularly consumed caloric beverages with water, well that might lend a hand.]

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