Embargoed for release: Monday, August 23, 2 p.m., Eastern Time
Note to reporters: The full texts of these press releases, abstracts of presentations and non-technical summaries provided by scientists are available at Eurekalert at www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php and also at http://web.1.c2.audiovideoweb.com/1c2web3536/Boston2010/BostonReleases_Aug19.htm.
Has the long-sought magic potion in society’s “battle with the bulge” finally arrived? An appetite-control agent that requires no prescription, has no common side effects, and costs almost nothing? Scientists today reported results of a new clinical trial confirming that just two 8-ounce glasses of the stuff, taken before meals, enables people to shed pounds. The weight-loss elixir, they told the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is ordinary water.
“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. People should drink more water and less sugary, high-calorie drinks. It’s a simple way to facilitate weight management.”
The study included 48 adults aged 55-75 years, divided into two groups. One group drank 2 cups of water prior to their meals and the other did not. All of the subjects ate a low-calorie diet during the study. Over the course of 12 weeks, water drinkers lost about 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost about 11 pounds. Davy said water may be so effective simply because it fills up the stomach with a substance that has zero calories. People feel fuller as a result, and eat less calorie-containing food during the meal.