I spotted this BBC headline today: "Scientists say drinking beer will not lead to beer belly". I have always believed that there is a clear relationship between drinking beer and developing the so-called beer belly. According to this study, however, there is no such relation. Has anyone heard about other similar studies that address this question?

  • 1
    the beer itself really isn't all that unhealthy, the sitting around eating all kinds of greasy/unhealthy foods while drinking beer is going to give you that belly.
    – Ryathal
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 13:27
  • The rather well referenced book "the Wheat Belly" posits that the "beer belly" is actually caused by wheat in general, not beer specifically. Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 14:52
  • 5
    Based on a quick internet search, I've found that Molson Canadian, a pretty bad but popular beer where I live has 144 calories per bottle. I think that's about average. That means that 6 bottles would be 864 calories. It's not uncommon for people with a "beer belly" to drink 6 bottles a day. An extra 864 calories a day, when the proper adult diet is around 2000 calories a day is not going to do any favours to your waistline.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 15:12
  • 2
    Isn't that big, round belly symptomatic of cirrhosis? Eloff looks to be on the right track.
    – Bigbio2002
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 17:52
  • @Kibbee Interestingly enough, "heavier" beers (e.g. Stout, Guinness, etc.) have less calories on average than lagers. Not sure what gives them their "weight", but they usually have less carbs and less protein than most lagers.
    – Polynomial
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


I know at least one other study: "Beer and obesity: a cross-sectional study", published in "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2003.

The study was conducted in the Czech Republic and tried to find a relationship between beer consumption and obesity (more precisely waist-to-hip-ratio and body mass index). It is quite interesting to read and I don't want to pick out any specific parts of their discussion, but the conclusion is: "In terms of moderate beer drinking, our results are consistent with the literature, which suggests that the association between beer and obesity, if it exists, is probably weak."

They also refer to several other studies with similar or diverting conclusions.


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