I’ve been saying this for years, that the beer belly is a myth and that drinking low-calorie diet light beer is a foolish decision, especially since it’s a sacrifice of too much flavor for too little discernible positives for your health or your waistline. Here’s the nutshell overview, the first paragraph from the UK Telegraph’s coverage — sure to make the head of the average neo-prohibitionist uncontrollably spin with rage — “The ‘beer belly’ is a myth as there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the beverage causes weight gain, a new report has claimed.”
In fact beer, the country’s national drink, has nutritional and wellbeing benefits similar to wine when consumed in moderation, it is claimed.
Nutritionist Dr Kathryn O’Sullivan, who carried out the review of the scientific review, believes that swapping beverages for beer may actually be a sensible way to diet.
Although the industry-sponsored research may seem incredible to some it in fact adds to an emerging body of thought that the beer belly is a myth.
Beer has fewer calories per 100ml than wine, spirits, and even orange juice, it is claimed.
“Unfortunately beer has this image as a high-calorie, high-fat drink,” Dr O’Sullivan told The Times. “It is very unfair.”
The study itself is called “Beer & calories; a scientific review” and I’d love to read the whole thing, but so far it doesn’t appear to be available online.
And an Irish report, “Study: ‘Beer belly’ is a myth” adds the following:
The study does note that if you drink vast amounts of beer (or pretty much anything for that matter) you will gain weight, and Dr O’Sullivan also does not dispute the evidence that drinking too much can lead to an early death.
However, Dr O’Sullivan said that swapping two large glasses of wine a day with two bottles of lager could save 58,240 calories a year (that equates to roughly 106 Big Mac’s a year).
“Beer drinking has become regarded by many as a vice and not a component of a healthy balanced lifestyle. But this is contrary to the latest scientific evidence,” she said.
“Enjoyed in moderation, beer, like wine, can provide many essential vitamins and minerals and moderate consumption may also protect against many conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.”
This new study also is consistent with an earlier study in Denmark, where Professor Arne Astrup, who’s at the Department of Human Nutrition at The University of Copenhagen, found “that there is no concrete scientific evidence to support the idea of the ‘beer belly.'”
Well, if you are certain you are going to stick to an orange juice glass’s worth of beer, I guess that makes sense.
The Professor says
Interesting…however unless I’ve missed something, the report appears to lack mention of ‘insulin resistance’.
The carbohydrate content of beer (especially the more robust beers available these days)n would certainly cause folks with that particular condition to accumulate belly fat, especially if they are in the habit of consuming beer in less than moderate amounts.
But I’m no doctor (even though I’ve played one on TV…LOL). I’d be curious as to how a real medico would weigh in on this.