Beer not fattening: official

Excellent - make mine a pint

Those of us who like a few pints already know that beer fights cancer and is an absolute life-saver in an avalanche emergency situation, but what about the apparently proven effect of ale on the old waistline, eh?

After all, anyone who has ever been on a package holiday to the Spanish costas can attest to the terrifying expansion of the British male's belly in response to a few hundred gallons of San Miguel...

Or maybe not. A new campaign by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), as reported on the BBC, highlights the most satisfying fact that beer in reality has less calories than wine, milk or orange juice - 41, 77, 64 and 42 per cent per 100ml, respectively.

What actually causes the beer belly is the overwhelming desire to partake of an enormous kebab or plate of curry after a particularly robust session, the BBPA says. This is true, although the BBPA is not taking in account something else all beer-drinkers know: that doner kebabs combat male pattern baldness and curry increases attractiveness to the opposite sex.

Which is why people who prefer wine are invariably bald and single - despite having a waistline like Calista Flockhart. ®

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