'Low-carb beer myth' duped Oz drinkers: Poll

Melbourne, Dec 10 (ANI): A poll has revealed that the low-carb beer "myth" has duped Australian drinkers.

Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of low-carb beer drinkers who responded to a VicHealth poll said it was a healthy alternative to full-strength beer.

A majority (59 per cent) said it was healthier than mid-strength while more (38 per cent) thought it was healthier than lower-alcohol light beer compared with those who knew it was not (36 per cent).

The poll revealed widespread "misunderstanding and confusion" on low-carb beer, said VicHealth executive director Todd Harper, who said this was to the alcohol industry's benefit.

"What that shows is the alcohol companies have very successfully exploited the desires of people to make healthier choices," the Daily Telegraph quoted Harper as saying.

"There are a significant number of beer drinkers who are motivated to make healthier choices ... and a high level of misunderstanding and confusion about the health qualities of low-carb beer.

"Unfortunately, if you are choosing low-carb beer in the belief that it is healthy then it is a mistaken belief," Harper added.

The poll of 500 drinking-age Australians was conducted in July, and when asked what beer was best to "avoid weight gain" 87 per cent said it was low-carb.

Popular reasons for drinking it also included that it was "less bloating" (50 per cent agreed), "less fattening" (44 per cent), had "less kilojoules" (37 per cent) and was "healthier" (30 per cent).

Women were more likely to drink low-carb beer and, worryingly, 15 per cent of drinkers said they "consume more" than usual when drinking low-carb beer.

Low-carb beers have 0.9 to 1.9 grams of carbohydrate per 100ml, compared with about 3.1g for regular beer with soft drink up to 10g. (ANI)

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