Is Alcohol Making Us Fat?

That Britain is in the midst of an obesity crisis is fairly well documented. The reasons for our expanding waistlines are complex, but nutritionists largely attribute the problem to a trifecta of factors:

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– Lack of exercise
– Eating too many calorie-dense foods
– Psychological issues like boredom, stress or depression causing us to over-eat

Increasingly, though, experts are suggesting that alcohol may be a key contributor to Britons’ weight gain.

The Alcohol-Fat Link

That a connection has been made between the UK’s obesity problem and alcohol is not surprising: during the course of the past two decades, we have also risen to the top of the international league table for alcohol consumption. Why does alcohol affect body weight?

Firstly, alcohol is second only to fat in terms of energy content, but we seldom make adjustments to our food intake to reflect the calories we have consumed through drinking beer, wine and spirits. See, for example, the NHS page on calories in alcohol.

Secondly, alcohol affects our judgement, so we are less likely to make sensible dietary choices when we have been drinking.

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Finally, we are consuming many of our alcohol units in our homes rather than at a pub or restaurant, meaning that it is both easier and cheaper to over-eat after drinking.

Is the Pub the Answer?

Certainly, there are some compelling health reasons for drinking in pubs rather than staying at home. Walking to your local hostelry, for example, will burn off a few calories. Similarly, being with friends, chatting and generally socialising, can slow down your alcohol intake and you might drink fewer units over an evening than you would ordinarily consume indoors. The occasional night out is also beneficial for your mental well-being and can help to minimise the psychological problems that can lead to weight gain.

Obesity concerns aside, pubs and restaurants also comply with strict food and drink safety regulations, so you can be assured that your beverages will be kept in hygienic conditions and that your glasses will be scrupulously clean. Many bars, for example, use commercial warewashers like those supplied by https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/bar-supplies/commercial-warewashers.

Whether you are keen to manage your weight or are concerned about health issues around cleanliness, there are some major benefits to going to pub, but these evaporate if you drink to excess.

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