Which makes you healthier - wine or beer?

Copenhagen - Wine drinkers tend to buy healthier food than beer drinkers, according to a Danish study published on the website of a weekly medical review.

People who bought wine at the store were also more likely to buy more olives, fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats and dairy products than beer consumers did, said the study.

Beer buyers were more likely to buy frozen dinners, cold cuts, pork, mutton, crisps, sugary products, butter, margarine and soft drinks.

The study, published in the Danish review Ugeskrift for Laeger, was conducted by four researchers from the National Institute of Public Health over the course of six months.

Alcohol researchers Erik Skovenborg and Morten Groenbaek and two other doctors collected 3,5 million grocery receipts from 98 stores during the period September 30, 2002, to February 2003.

The customers at the grocery stores represented a large sample of the Danish population, they said.

"Our results confirm international studies which show that wine drinkers are more inclined to eat fruits, vegetables and fish and rarely use saturated fats, compared to those who like other kinds of alcoholic beverages," they concluded.

Wine consumers also tended to have higher education levels, higher earnings and be in better psychological health, they added, citing a previous Danish study.

Their interest in consumers' grocery bags followed a series of studies in the Danish media suggesting that moderate wine drinkers ran a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer than beer drinkers.


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