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.
Article: Dietary determinants of changes in waist circumference adjusted for body mass index - a proxy measure of visceral adiposity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Given the recognized health effects of visceral fat, the understanding of how diet can modulate changes in the phenotype "waist circumference for a given body mass index (WC(BMI))", a proxy measure of visceral adiposity, is deemed necessary. Hence, the objective of the present study was to assess the association between dietary factors and prospective changes in visceral adiposity as measured by changes in the phenotype WC(BMI). We analyzed data from 48,631 men and women from 5 countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Anthropometric measurements were obtained at baseline and after a median follow-up time of 5.5 years. WC(BMI) was defined as the residuals of waist circumference regressed on body mass index, and annual change in WC(BMI) (DeltaWC(BMI), cm/y) was defined as the difference between residuals at follow-up and baseline, divided by follow-up time. The association between energy, energy density (ED), macronutrients, alcohol, glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), fibre and DeltaWC(BMI) was modelled using centre-specific adjusted linear regression, and random-effects meta-analyses to obtain pooled estimates. Men and women with higher ED and GI diets showed significant increases in their WC(BMI), compared to those with lower ED and GI [1 kcal/g greater ED predicted a DeltaWC(BMI) of 0.09 cm (95% CI 0.05 to 0.13) in men and 0.15 cm (95% CI 0.09 to 0.21) in women; 10 units greater GI predicted a DeltaWC(BMI) of 0.07 cm (95% CI 0.03 to 0.12) in men and 0.06 cm (95% CI 0.03 to 0.10) in women]. Among women, lower fibre intake, higher GL, and higher alcohol consumption also predicted a higher DeltaWC(BMI). Results of this study suggest that a diet with low GI and ED may prevent visceral adiposity, defined as the prospective changes in WC(BMI). Additional effects may be obtained among women of low alcohol, low GL, and high fibre intake.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11588. · 4.09 Impact Factor