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The Beer Belly Is a Myth, Says the Beer Industry

By Bryan Le 02/13/13

Research backed by Big Alcohol tries to present beer as a "diet drink."

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A rare photo of the mythical beer belly.
Photo via

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.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter

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