I can understand the claim that a glass of red wine per day can reduce stress levels, aid heart health, and even provide some much needed antioxidants. But the wealth of health claims now being advertised by alcohol companies has gone too far.

A new report, "Questionable Health Claims by Alcohol Companies: From Protein Vodka to Weight-Loss Beer." seen on Food Politics and done by the Marin Institute is shedding some light on some shady claims.

Keep in mind that the alcohol industry isn't regulated by the FDA, rather, it's regulated by the Treasury Department. This is a result of the fact that the industry brings in a lot of money.

The report focused on false claims such as my favorite, "weight loss beer." According to the report:

Beer companies are sponsoring marathons and running ads showing toned drinkers meeting up at a bar after a work-out. Superstars of grueling, high-endurance sports are being tapped to promote alcoholic beverages.

Such false claims impact our buying patterns as well. Again the report:

[M]arket research shows purchase intent and consumption of a brand increase when people believe alcoholic products are all-natural or fitness-friendly, intense scrutiny and strict regulation of such misleading claims is essential.

Here are some of the claims targeted in the report:

Fortified Vodka

Examples-Lotus White is infused with vitamins B3, B6, B9, and B12 and Devotion a "protein-infused ultra premium vodka."

Antioxidant Liqueur

Fragoli is a liqueur that's loaded with antioxidant-laden berries.

All Natural Spirits

Spirits have done little to change their product but are now making claims that they are "All Natural." including companies like Absolut, Skyy, Stoli, and Finlandia vodka.

Weight Loss Beers

These include beers like Michelob Ultra, which want you to "Lose the Carbs, Not the Taste."

It's certainly an interesting discussion to have especially because our buying patterns are so closely tied to such advertisements. But at some point you have to take a step back and look at what you're believing. Beer and weight loss, I don't think so. Instead why not consider enjoying a high quality, local, organic beer or glass of wine a few times a week? These small producers support your community, are gentler on the planet, and provide beverages that taste SO much better.

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