Czech Scientists: No Correlation Between Beer Drinking and Obesity

Pivo děla hezké těla (Beer makes beautiful bodies), right? Not so, say Czech scientists.

A very interesting study published in the journal Nature by Drs. Bobak and Å kodová of Prague’s Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine has shown that there is no correlation between beer drinking and obesity. As the good doctors wrote:

“There is a common notion that beer drinkers are, on average, more ‘obese’ than either nondrinkers or drinkers of wine or spirits. This is reflected, for example, by the expression ‘beer belly’ (Duncan et al, 1995). If this is so, then beer intake should be associated with some general measure of obesity, such as body mass index (BMI), or with indices of fat distribution, such as waist-hip ratio (WHR), or with both.”

What they found was that these measurements were not different for beer drinkers vs. non-beer-drinkers. Not only that, but that women who drink beer are on average thinner than women who don’t.

They specifically chose Czechs for their study, as the Czech Republic leads the world in per-capita beer consumption, at a whopping 155 liters per person per year. And, as they wrote in their article:

“The differences between studies may partly be because of the different drinking cultures. In different populations, the choice of drink may be related to a different set of confounding factors. The Czech Republic is a good place to study the effects of beer. Unlike in the US or France, beer is the most common drink for both men and women. It is consumed with meals, and most people drink beer often and in moderate amounts. Beer intake in the Czech Republic, at least in moderate amounts, is not related to social disadvantage, and it does not bear any social stigma. In this population, therefore, beer drinking is less likely than in other countries to be confounded by other factors.”

So tonight we’ll raise the chipped pullitr in salute to Drs. Bobak, Å kodová and Marmot, for their groundbreaking work in the service of science.

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