The German beer belly is misunderstood [study]

A team of scientists has attacked the idea that beer is the main cause of beer bellies in Germans. As with many biomedical questions, an absolute, indisputable answer may be impossible. To obtain it would require continuously monitoring and measuring, over a span of years, every sip and morsel drunk and eaten by a vast number of people.

The only practical method involves asking beer-drinkers to dig deep into their memory and estimate or take a wild guess as to their typical intake of beer and everything else that has passed down their gullet.

Madlen Schütze and other researchers at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke and at Fulda University of Applied Sciences, together with a colleague at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, gave it their best shot. They published a study in 2009 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The team analysed 19,941 men and women’s weight, waist measurements and hip circumference…

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

BONUS: Scicurious analyzes the study

BONUS: “Scantily clad German men happy to bare their beer bellies

BONUS: “German beer lover goes down the drain