What’s in your pint?

Written by Steve Bury

Beer is low in sugar, compared to other drinks but misinformation about it proliferates, according to new research. A report — A Healthy Perspective on Beer? published by the British Beer and Pub Association in May — reveals details of a new research paper confirming that, contrary to popular belief, compared to other drinks, beer is low in sugar. The study analysed the calorific content of 52 alcoholic drinks, and found the majority of beers sampled contained less than 1g of sugar per 100ml, with higher alcohol beers rising to 1.5g per 100ml. However, sugar is heaped into most other drinks like cola (10.6g per 100ml), orange squash (7.8g) and a medium cappuccino (4.3g).

A new report by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), published in July alongside the research shows despite beer being perceived by 76 per cent as our national drink, with wine running a distant second at only six per cent and whisky picking up just three per cent of the votes, members of the public misunderstand the nutritional content of beer. The majority of British adults (68 per cent) mistakenly think beer is high in sugar, with 84 per cent believing it’s high in calories and 85 per cent believing it to be fattening.

Interestingly, women are more likely than men to think beer is high in sugar (74 per cent versus 61 per cent of men). The facts are that beer has a very low sugar content especially when compared to other alcoholic drinks, is fat free and typically offers the lowest alcohol option.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “There is still a lot of work to be done to challenge many of the misconceptions around beer not least, as our latest consumer poll shows, around sugar content and calorific values”.

The report is also available at http://beer-and-health.co.uk/new_report

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