A huge real ale festival opens today with new research claiming that beer can help people lose weight - when drunk in moderation.
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said a third of men and women wrongly believe that beer has more calories than other alcoholic drinks.
Swapping wine for beer for just one week would save as many calories as a half-hour jog, Camra claims.
Chief executive Mike Benner said: "It is great news to see the myth of the beer belly finally laid to rest. The main message we are putting forward today is that, as a low-alcohol drink, beer can supplement a healthy lifestyle if consumed in a responsible manner."
Brewing expert Professor Charlie Bamforth said: "For years beer has been blighted by a reputation for being more fattening than other alcoholic drinks when in reality the exact opposite is true.
"The major source of calories in any alcoholic drink is the alcohol itself, and because beer is the drinks category with the lowest average alcohol content it is also lowest in calories."
The study was published to mark the opening day of Camra's Great British Beer Festival in London.
Chris Sorek, chief executive of alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware, said: "This research reinforces what we already know - all too often people have no idea how many calories or units are in their favourite drink.
"Educating people about the calorific content of their favourite drink can be a really effective way of getting them to start thinking about how much they are drinking, which can ultimately lead to behaviour change.
"No matter what alcoholic drink you choose, it's important to remember that regularly drinking above the daily unit guidelines can put you at increased risk of liver disease, stroke and some cancers."Reuse content