Beer consumption and the 'beer belly': scientific basis or common belief?
ABSTRACT The term 'beer belly' expresses the common belief that beer consumption is a major determinant of waist circumference (WC). We studied the gender-specific associations between beer consumption and WC (partially in relation to body weight and hip circumference (HC) change).
Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam study (7876 men, 12 749 women), cross-sectional associations were investigated applying general linear models. Prospective analyses of baseline beer consumption and an 8.5-year WC change were assessed using multivariate general linear models and polytomous logistic regression. To test the site-specific effect of beer consumption on WC, an adjustment for concurrent changes in body weight and HC was carried out. In addition, the relationship between change in beer consumption and change in WC was studied.
A positive association in men and no association in women were seen between beer consumption and WC at baseline. Men consuming 1000 ml/d beer were at 17% higher risk for WC gain compared with very light consumers. Significantly lower odds for WC gain (odds ratio=0.88; 95% confidence interval 0.81, 0.96) were found in beer-abstaining women than in very-light-drinking women. The adjustment for concurrent body weight and HC change diminished effect estimates notably, explaining most of the association between beer and change in WC. Decreasing beer consumption was related to higher relative odds for WC loss, although not statistically significant.
Beer consumption leads to WC gain, which is closely related to concurrent overall weight gain. This study does not support the common belief of a site-specific effect of beer on the abdomen, the beer belly.
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ABSTRACT: To examine the long-term association between the amount and type of alcohol consumed and subsequent high waist circumference. Prospective population study with baseline assessment of alcohol intake, body mass index, smoking habit, physical activity, education, income and deliveries, and after 10 y, examination of waist circumference. A sample of 2916 men and 3970 women aged 20-83 y from Copenhagen City Heart Study, Denmark. A large waist circumference defined as a waist circumference more than 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women. The odds ratios of having a high waist circumference after 10 y showed a linear increase in both men and women, and they were 1.65 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-2.55) in men and 2.16 (0.86-5.14) in women who drank more than 28 beverages per week of total alcohol compared to those who drank one to six beverages per week. Men drinking more than 21 beers per week had odds ratio of having a large waist circumference after 10 y of 1.63 (0.99-2.67) and women drinking more than 14 beers per week had odds ratio of 2.53 (0.92-6.34), compared to men and women who drank no beer. Also for spirits, there was an increase in both men and women. No linear trend was found for wine in either men or women. Moderate-to-high consumption of alcohol and of beer and spirits was associated with later high waist circumference, whereas moderate-to-high wine consumption may have the opposite effect.International Journal of Obesity 03/2003; 27(2):238-46. · 5.22 Impact Factor
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Article: The alcohol paradox.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 12/1999; 70(5):940-2. · 6.50 Impact Factor