It comes as a new report by a nutritionist found no scientific evidence to support the belief that beer causes weight gain, challenging the ‘beer belly’ label.
The report ‘Beer & calories; a scientific review’ by Dr Kathryn O’Sullivan examines the latest scientific evidence and concludes that beer, when drunk in moderation, has “nutritional and wellbeing benefits which are at least similar to its fashionable European counterpart, wine”.
It said: “Beer contains vitamins which can help you to maintain a well-balanced healthy diet, fibre to keep you regular, readily absorbed antioxidants and minerals such as silicon which may help to lower your risk of osteoporosis. Yet few people are aware of its health properties.”
O’Sullivan added that a large glass of wine with an ABV of 13% to 14% could contain as many as 3.5 units, compared with just one unit in half a pint of ABV 3.6% beer.
The BBPA’s new microsite beer-and-health.co.uk provides a practical guide to the alcohol and calorie content of drinks.
This includes: 10% of people wrongly believe that beer contains fat – beer contains zero fat and zero cholesterol; 24% of people wrongly think that red wine, rather than beer, contains the most vitamins; 13% of people incorrectly believe that beer is made from ‘chemicals’ rather than its natural ingredients malted barley and hops.
“Beer drinking in Britain has become regarded by many as a vice and not a component of a healthy balanced lifestyle,” O’Sullivan said. “But this is contrary to the latest scientific evidence. 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.
“If you are going to accept that people want to enjoy alcoholic drinks then, on balance, beer is one of the healthier ways to do so. Whilst the report does not suggest that people should rush out and drink large amounts of alcohol, it shows that all the potential benefits of beer, for our health and well-being can be enjoyed when beer is drunk in moderation.”