Beer drinkers eat less healthy

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: April 4th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

That six-pack of beer in your shopping cart could reveal more about you than you think.

Or actually, it could be the bag of potato chips, frozen pizza and bean dip next to the brewskis doing the talking.

Danish researchers have found that wine drinkers tend to dine on healthier fare than beer drinkers, at least according to what’s in their shopping carts.

The researchers studied more than three-million supermarket purchases between 2002 and 2003 and noticed that wine drinkers were more apt to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cooking oils, low-fat cheese and poultry.

Beer drinkers, on the other hand, showed a penchant for pork, processed food, sugary sweets, soft drinks and chips.

Wine drinkers were also more likely to sample Mediterranean dishes than beer drinkers, who tended to stick to traditional choices.

But does drinking wine make you healthier?

Past studies have linked moderate intake of red wine to a healthy heart. Drinking wine is also associated with lower death rates from cancer. But researchers say the health benefits of drinking wine may be related to who’s drinking it.

The typical wine drinker is an educated, in-shape woman who drinks moderately and is most likely already healthy. Beer drinkers tend to be less-educated, younger men who drink more.

Researchers say these lifestyle differences could affect overall health, too.

No matter how healthy wine is, a sip of chardonnay from time to time might be a welcome… and tasty… change for beer drinkers.