Fight Obesity with Local Craft Beer

We’re not sure that local craft beer is an evidence-based obesity intervention. But somehow it doesn’t surprise us to find a Brew Rendezvous promoted in San Diego by the Community Health Improvement Partners for the purpose of promoting healthy nutrition and fighting obesity.

The event sounds like great fun. If you mix a sunny day in southern California with some great local brews and good farm-to-table food, what’s not to love? For the craft brewers, it certainly helps to align their product with the healthy halo of genuine, wholesome, local foods.

This marketing and PR strategy has lots of entertaining angles. Here are a couple of points to think about.

  1. Health Benefit Marketing. Food, drink, nutrition, and health publications have been discovering there’s lots of material for articles about “The Surprising Health Benefits of Beer.” No doubt with the help of a clever PR agency, craft beers are shedding the old beer-belly image and taking on a real-food image that squares with the growing preference to feed our bodies wholesome stuff.
  2. Shifting Beverage Preferences. Craft brews are helping beer pull out of a slump that appears to have ended in 2010. In 2012, craft beers were up by 10%. We now have 2,075 local craft breweries competing for upscale consumers on more even footing with local wineries.
  3. Trade-off with Sodas. It’s worth noting that Cornell researcher Brian Wansink found sugar-sweetened beverage taxes could lead to an unintended consequence of increased beer consumption. The health effects of increased alcohol consumption merit consideration in decisions about taxation strategies for sugary drinks.

People are unlikely to stop looking for ways to rationalize the foods they eat as healthy. Pushing healthy food as if it’s some sort of nutraceutical seems to bring more rationalization and less rationality.

“Rationalization is foreplay with one’s conscience.” ― Doug Cooper

Click here to read more about craft beer to fight obesity. Click here and here for yet more rationalization about the health benefits of beer. Click here to read Wansink’s observations on trade-offs between soda and beer consumption.

Gecko Relaxing with a Beer, photograph © Steve Dunleavy / flickr

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