The Beer Belly Is a Myth, Says the Beer Industry
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Beer drinkers who've watched their six packs blossom into kegs only have themselves to blame, because beer bellies are a "myth," according to new research—backed by the alcohol industry. “Unfortunately beer has this image as a high-calorie, high-fat drink,” says nutritionist Dr. Kathryn O'Sullivan. “It is very unfair.” In Beer & calories; a scientific review, O'Sullivan reviews beer industry-sponsored research comparing beer with other beverages. Her report claims there is no scientific evidence that beer causes weight gain, even touting the beverage as a "sensible" diet drink. Beer contains vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and minerals that fight osteoporosis; it also contains fewer calories per 100ml than wine, spirits and orange juice, says the report. So health-conscious daily drinkers take note: Swapping two large glasses of wine with two daily beers can save you 58,240 calories per year. This isn't the first time alcohol companies have used health claims to promote their products: Last year, a Heineken exec called beer “everything healthy.” But anyone seeking to weigh the health pros and cons of drinking beer or other beverages would be well advised to get a second opinion. Alcohol is proven to hinder the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals, which makes it more difficult to burn fat. And the intoxicating effects of booze are known to cause cravings for high-calorie, high-sodium snacks—as well as for more booze.