Beer lovers across Britain will be raising a glass to the latest research on drinking.
For scientists have discovered that the so-called ‘beer belly’ is not caused by consuming alcohol – but more to do with genetics.
A study of thousands of beer drinkers found that although people who drink regularly are more likely to put on weight, they do not necessarily accumulate fat around the abdomen.
Researchers monitored more than 20,000 people – 7,876 men and 12,749 women – over an average of eight-and-a-half years.
Men who were classed as the heaviest drinkers – regularly consuming two pints of beer a day – put on the most weight.
But when the researchers then measured hip-to-waist ratios to establish which drinkers developed a pot belly, the results were randomly spread across all drinking groups.
The scientists concluded that genetic factors dictating how people put on weight were more significant than drinking beer.