Sample Nutrition Research Article Critique: Alcohol Consumption and Obesity

Introduction

 Conducted by Gregory Traversy and Jean-Philippe Chaput, the research outlines a comprehensive background of the problem and identifies the existing information gap that it aims at filling. The authors note that despite over three decades of study on the cause-effect linkage between excessive alcohol intake and obesity or overweight, there are still conflicting evidences. It is this conflicting body of evidence that the study seeks to explore (Traversy and Chaput n.pag). The authors sufficiently identify and explain the problem by data triangulation. This is critical in establishing the authenticity and validity of their claims.

Methodology

            To explore the conflicting evidence, the authors triangulated data from recent and past studies to establish the correlation between alcohol intake and weight gain or obesity. The research focused on observational evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that used varying number of participants most of which were randomly selected. The systemic literature review also focused on experimental evidence to establish the connection between alcohol intake and weight gain (Traversy and Chaput n.pag). Their review also extended to factors that have caused the longstanding conflict in the body of evidence regarding studies on this topic. The review of large body of evidence allows the authors to arrive at an objective. Moreover, the large volume of evidence review allows the authors to generalize their findings and extrapolate it to the rest of the population.

Results, Discussion and Conclusion  

            The review of literature on prospective studies and experimental evidence showed that individuals who take moderate amounts of alcohol are not at risk of gaining weight. However, heavy drinking is usually associated with weight gain due to high adiposity levels (Traversy and Chaput n.pag). Despite such correlations, the authors established that weight gain is not influenced by alcohol intake only. It is caused by other factors such as genetics, gender, sleeping behavior, level of physical activity and psychosocial and health status among other factors. Therefore, the study did not clearly provide any new information on the topic other than aggregating the findings of many studies and arriving at a conclusion that these researchers had arrived at individually. It did not effectively contribute to unraveling the conflict despite noting it as the problem. Study limitations help with future researches on the topic. The authors fell short of clearly indicating these limitations which are important when it comes to suggesting areas of future research on the topic (Labaree n.pag). However, the topic is well handled in a topical and easy to read manner. Easy reading is enhanced by the use of simple tables that summarize some of the findings. Moreover, the conclusion is strong, concise and precise. It justifies the findings of the study. 

Overall Thoughts

            Studies have shown that obesity is a multifaceted and complex condition. The factors that cause obesity combine differently or act singly in different individuals. Therefore, it is difficult to establish that high alcohol intake can cause obesity in a sample of individuals without first ruling out other factors. Therefore, I agree with the authors’ conclusion that establishing a cause-effect relationship between high alcohol intake and obesity is marred in conflicting evidence. I also agree with their conclusion that healthy living and moderate alcohol intake can help in preventing obesity or overweight. Since the authors reviewed existing literature on the topic, the limitations associated with these studies are transferable to the current research.

Works Cited

Labaree, Robert V. Limitations of the Study – Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper. University of Southern California. Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/limitations  

Traversy, Gregory and Chaput, Jean-Philippe.  Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update. Curr Obes Rep. 4.1(2015): 122–130. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338356/#CR2