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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK
Beer gut bill tops four figures
Beer belly
Drinking beer can do this to you....
The average British male spends 1,144 per year cultivating his beer gut, research shows.

That equates to 5% of the average take home pay spent on beer and post-booze snacks such as kebabs.

The study, by private medical insurer PruHealth, found salesmen are the biggest boozers, spending 1,560 per year on drink and snacks.

Obesity is linked to a range of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

London: 22
Rest of South: 18
Midlands/Wales: 17
Scotland: 17

The research, based on interviews with 2,476 men, shows nearly a quarter (22%) of men go out drinking at least two nights a week - and among those aged under 29 the figure rises to 31%.

Men say they spend an average of 22 on booze and junk food in a typical week.

However, 7% - around 1.7m men nationwide - say they regularly down 40 worth of drink a week, and over 10 on fast food.

One in seven Londoners spent over 40 week a week on alcohol alone on average - with 2% admitting to spending at least 80 a week.

The Scots are keen boozers too, with 4% regularly spending between 100 and 150 per week.

Single boozers

Single men on average tend to spend more on booze - 25 - during the week than married or co-habiting men.

London: 13% spend more than 40 a week
Rest of South: 8%
Midlands/Wales: 6%
North: 8%
Scotland: 5%

Men who are in a relationship but who don't live with their partner spend an average of 23 per week, while married men say they spend just 15 on average.

Salesmen spend noticeably more than any other profession, with one in 20 shelling out 80 to 150 every week.

They are also the profession most likely to be found in the pub most nights of the week.

Dr Chris Dark, medical director at PruHealth, said: "We asked men whether they were worried about having a beer belly and over a third said they were.

"Yet these findings reveal that a significant number of men are clearly investing time and money on cultivating their guts.

"While it is fine for everyone to enjoy a drink and snack in moderation, my concern is that men are not realising the long-term implications for their health that storing excessive fat around the belly can have.

"The notorious beer gut can be the start of much more serious health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease."

Dr Ian Campbell is medical director of the charity Weight Concern, and author of fatmanslim.com, a free service to men who want to lose weight.

He said: "For many men the fat around their waist is the most dangerous.

"In addition to adopting a healthy diet and becoming more active many men would do well to cut down on alcohol.

"Alcohol is highly calorific and all that unused energy is quickly turned into fat around the gut."

Is beer less fattening than wine?
08 Mar 05 |  Magazine

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