Women who drink lightly gain less weight in midlife

Women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol don’t gain as much weight in midlife as those who abstain, according to a study released Monday.

However, the authors as well as alcohol abuse experts were quick to say that drinking should not be heralded as a new diet nor a path to better health.

The study, to be published Tuesday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is the first to find that alcohol may curb weight gain in women.

Previous research suggested that moderate drinking has no effect on women’s weight and contributes to weight gain in men.

Typically, alcohol consumption is not advised for people trying to watch their weight or lose weight. A five-ounce glass of wine contains 125 calories while a 12-ounce regular beer contains 150 calories.

In the study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston examined data from 19,220 women enrolled in the long-running Women’s Health Study.

The women, all ages 39 and older at the start of the study and all originally of normal weight, provided information on questionnaires about their alcohol intake as well as other health and lifestyle information over an average of 13 years.


Greek prime minister seeks help with financial crisis

Greece’s prime minister is hoping his trip to Washington will boost efforts to get his country out of a financial crisis. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that Greece is not asking for any specific help from Washington.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, after meeting with Clinton at the State Department, told reporters that Greece is exploring ways within the European Union of improving Greece’s borrowing prospects.

Clinton said, “Neither the prime minister nor Greece has asked the United States for anything.”

Both officials said they discussed the need for major economies to make financial reforms and clamp down on speculators.

In an earlier speech, Papandreou decried currency manipulations by speculators and called for stricter global control of currency markets.

He encouraged U.S. authorities to continue investigations into possible currency manipulation involving the euro.

Papandreou plans to meet President Barack Obama on today.


Lawmakers seeking to stop raids on pot operations

A bipartisan group of Colorado lawmakers trying to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry are calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to stop raids of medical marijuana operations, saying the raids are making it harder to create rules to keep tabs on the booming industry.

They e-mailed Holder a letter Monday, copying in President Barack Obama and officials at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the department would review the letter.

Last month, a suburban Denver man who said he was a medical marijuana provider was charged with drug possession in federal court after DEA agents raided his home and found 224 pot plants. Agents became suspicious about the size of the man’s Highlands Ranch operation after he told a Denver television station he expected to make up to $400,000 a year.

Agents also raided two Colorado laboratories that test medical marijuana for pesticides and potency after they applied for licenses from the DEA. The operator of one said he was raided on the day he showed up at the state Capitol to testify on some of the proposed medical marijuana regulations.

Democratic Sen. Chris Romer of Denver said he’s most troubled by the lab raids since the labs appeared to be in compliance with state law.

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