Energy Drink and Obesity

Over the past few years researchers have started to take a closer look at energy drinks and their effects on your health.

One specific area of concern has to do with the effects of using them as a mixer with alcohol.

Registered dietitians say the caffeine content may get you to drink more than your limit.

"Caffeine definitely gives you- it's a stimulant, but it's also a depressant where you come down from that, so typically that causes someone to drink more of it. Just like coffee. Once you get that high, you get the low, you want it again. It's a very addictive effect," said Julia Zumpano, R.D. with Cleveland Clinic.

Zumpano says researchers are now looking to see if energy drinks reduce the sensation of intoxication, which may induce more drinking.

They also want to know if energy drinks offset the sedating effects of alcohol.

They're also checking to see if the reduced sensation of intoxication impairs judgment relative to risky behaviors, like drunk driving, but more research is needed.

Zumpano says until then, one thing she knows for sure, energy drinks can put a dent in your diet.

"Most of these drinks average between 250-300 calories, so they add up very quickly. You have 3 or 4 drinks- you're over 1,000 calories."

If you do like mixed drinks, Zumpano recommends mixing with a diet soda or seltzer.

If your New Year's resolution includes losing a few pounds... You may not need to take off as much as you think!

An analysis of the medical records of nearly three million adults finds people who are overweight or moderately obese have a slightly lower risk of death than people considered normal weight.

However, people who are extremely obese face a nearly twenty percent increased risk of death.

Researchers say small amounts of extra fat tissue may provide needed energy during illness. Also, overweight patients may seek medical treatment sooner -- therefore receiving more comprehensive care.

The researchers categorized people by their b-m-i score, which is a calculation of of height and weight.


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