independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

The beer belly is a myth, study claims

The beer belly is only a myth, according to scientists.
The beer belly is only a myth, according to scientists.

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.”

If you consume huge amounts of beer you will gain weight, but the same is true for those who glug wine by the gallon.

The report “Beer & calories; a scientific review” points out that the drink contains vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants and minerals such as silicon which may help to lower your risk of osteoporosis.

Although Dr O’Sullivan does not dispute the evidence of the effect of excessive alcohol consumption on increased mortality and morbidity, she argues there is a growing scientific support that moderate consumption of beer can be associated with health benefits.

She argues rather than detoxing we need to be more “consumer aware” at managing alcohol consumption all year round.

People in Britain spend on average 14 years dieting in their lifetime, but according to the report have many common preconceptions on the calories in drinks.

More than half of adults don’t know how many calories there are in beer or wine, and 74 per cent of women overestimate the calorie content of beer.

Dr O’Sullivan concludes that swapping two large glasses of wine a day with two bottles of lager could save 58,240 calories a year.

“Beer drinking in Britain 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.”

Professor Arne Astrup, Head of The Department of Human Nutrition at The University of Copenhagen, Denmark, has also previously stated that there is no concrete scientific evidence to support the idea of the “beer belly”.

Hayley Dixon Telegraph.co.uk

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