What better time than Friday afternoon to celebrate the fact that today it is International Beer Day. Who knew? When beer is discussed in my presence it is usually in reference to whether it is ‘betterer for you’ if there is such a thing, than wine or other alcohol. The thing is, standard servings of beer and wine are very similar in terms of kilojoule content and both can contribute to weight gain indirectly. Beer nutrition: these two words are not usually seen together, so let’s do some math. If wine and beer are compared on a 100ml basis this is what we find: Wine, red 295 kJ White wine, dry 283 kJ White wine, sweet 275 kJ Beer, average 149 kJ Fantastic, you think, these figures are reassuring, and beer is looking great. There is a small problem though. Most people don’t usually drink just 100ml of beer. Imagine drinking 100ml out of your stubby and then passing it on to your mate to finish off. No, I didn’t think so. Standard drink servings vary in size depending on the type of alcohol. A standard serving of beer is 250ml or 2/3 can or stubby while a standard serving of wine is 100ml. Restaurants are more generous when they pour, it seems. An average restaurant size serving of wine is 180ml or 1.8 standard drinks, and the average serving size of a full strength beer is 375ml or 1 middy/can/stubby, which is equal to 1.5 standard drinks. If you go out and enjoy 2-3 wines or 2-3 stubbys of beer, you will clock up around 1500 -1600 kJ in both cases. This is equivalent to chomping through 4 slices of multi-grain bread, although not quite as nutritious! Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks can weaken one’s resolve and soon have you reaching for high fat snacks. Combining fatty foods with alcohol is the worst combination of all for weight gain, so it is a good idea to eat a meal before drinking alcohol to lessen the temptation to reach for the chips and peanuts. So, Happy International Beer Day to you and please enjoy your 100ml shots.