Sugar in beer claims are ‘off the mark’

5th February, 2014 by Lauren Eads

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) have hit back at a report claiming a pint of ale can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar.

Beer with tape measureThe Daily Mail ran a report today discussing the hidden sugar in alcohol citing that a pint of ale contained nine teaspoons, whereas a large glass of red wine contained just a quarter.

Mulled wine was found to contain 11 teaspoons a glass, a bottle of Magners pear cider eight and a half teaspoons and a pint of Strongbow dry cider three and a half teaspoons of sugar.

Speaking to the Daily Mail cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said the level of sugar was “staggering” adding that alcohol-related ill health costs the NHS £3.3 billion a year.

However the BBPA have refuted the claims over the level of sugar found in ale saying the assessment is “hugely wide off the mark”.

Commenting on the report, a BBPA spokesperson said: “We are investigating where these figures came from.

“In fact, a pint of ale typically contains less than a teaspoon.

“While the total carbohydrate content might be higher, this is only because the finished beer contains other sources of carbohydrates, such as soluble fibre, which have positive health benefits.

“Most beer will have very little, if any, sugar added during the brewing process, and sugars added will almost entirely be converted into alcohol.

“As today’s debate about sugar is largely a proxy for calories, it is worth remembering that beer is low in calories. A typical half a pint of bitter contains just 90 calories; that’s fewer than in the same amount of orange juice, or milk.

“Also, beer typically contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Enjoyed in moderation by those without underlying health conditions, beer can certainly be part of a healthy lifestyle.”

The World Health Organisation recommends that men shouldn’t consume more than eight teaspoons (32g) of sugar a day, or six (24g) for women.

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