Does Drinking Beer Make You Fat?

Does Drinking Beer Make You Fat? | By Helene Roper

Ah, the beer belly. We all know the common thinking – drinking beer causes you to be fat. But is this really the case?


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A new study shows that it’s not what you’re drinking, it’s how much you’re drinking in one sitting that causes weight gain. Specifically the study, which was led by Martin Bobak of University College London, and which looked at 28,594 middle-aged Eastern Europeans, showed that those who drank more than 80 grams of alcohol (not beer – alcohol) in one sitting at least once a month have a waist size about a half-inch bigger than people who drink the same amount over a week. The men and women who drank primarily beer were no more likely to have bigger waist sizes than those who drank primarily wine or spirits.

These are pretty significant findings for anyone who loves beer but has been afraid to partake for fear of getting fat. Rationally we should know that too much of anything will make you fat, but for some reason beer has gotten a worse rap than other spirits (maybe thanks to the low-carb Atkins craze?).

The study also didn’t find a link between drinking and body weight in men, and found only a small effect on women’s weight that could be linked to drinking. It’s also interesting to note that binge drinkers weren’t necessarily heavier than non-binge drinkers, they just had more belly fat.

Want to drink but don’t want to binge? Below are the approximate grams of alcohol for some popular beverage choices.
• A bottle of wine (70 grams)
• A six-pack o beer (84 grams)
• Six 1.5 oz shots of 80-proof spirits (84 grams)

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This is an important reminder of some good advice we’ve all been hearing for years – everything in moderation.

Helene is a craft-beer enthusiast and freelance writer. You can check out her blog at http://www.phillybeergirl.blogspot.com where she writes about all things beer-related.

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