Despite what your budding waistline might tell you, the beer industry keeps insisting that beer does not contribute to weight gain. And if you're not inclined to believe them, here's a little science to back them up (funded by the beer industry, of course).
In a report last week by Dr. Kathryn O'Sullivan called Beer & Calories: A Scientific Review, Sullivan argues that beer contains vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals to keep drinkers healthy. And the beer belly? "The evidence of the effect of moderate consumption of alcohol on weight gain can be inconsistent," O'Sullivan writes, noting that past studies have found that moderate drinking does not increase weight gain in women, although heavy drinking did.
For beer specifically, O'Sullivan notes, past studies have found that while there is a correlation between beer consumption and larger waists in men, this was related to overall weight gain, affected by lifestyle factors including eating more calories to begin with. "The authors concluded that abdominal fat is a consequence of gaining weight and not a direct consequence of drinking beer," O'Sullivan wrote, referencing a 2009 study.
Naturally, the British Beer and Pub Association has launched a website to tout all the health benefits of beer (in moderation), just so you can look at all the reasons to drink beer without worrying about your weight. We imagine the same should be done for wine, whiskey, and vodka.