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Americans love beer.
On average, 42% of them prefer it to any other kind of alcohol, so you might not be shocked to hear that according to multiple studies, over half of American adults have a beer gut.
But don't swear off your Friday-night cold one just yet because it's not beer specifically that's to blame.
Apple or hourglass, oval or inverted triangle, everyone has their own body shape, and that's partially because people store fat in different places depending on their genetics and hormones.
For women, popular spots include the thighs, arms, and backside, while men tend to store fat in their bellies.
Much of it is a type of fat called visceral fat, which lurks deep within the stomach.
In men, visceral fat tends to pile up behind the abdominal wall where it pushes the abs outward, creating a protruding beer belly.
Though that name, "beer belly," is kind of a misnomer because beer bellies aren't exclusive to beer drinkers.
That's because the problem isn't the actual beer.
It's the calories inside it.
On average, your favorite ale contains around 150 calories per can.
That's 30 to 50 more calories than a 5-ounce glass of wine and 45 more than a shot of whiskey.
And if you don't burn them off, those extra calories can go straight to your gut.
But not only do the number of calories matter, but the kind of calories.
Beer contains high levels of processed carbs, which research shows can interfere with insulin levels and promote fat storage around your organs.
And while a serving of wine, for instance, contains just 1 or 2 grams of carbs, a serving of beer contains 10 to 20.
It doesn't really matter whether these calories and carbs come from beer specifically or from some other kind of junk food.
So the good news is, beer in moderation shouldn't give you a beer belly.
That being said, no matter where it comes from, a beer belly is bad news.
That's because visceral fat wraps around your kidneys, liver, and intestines, and releases hormones that can disrupt their normal function, and that can lead to issues like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
If that's not bad enough, once your belly runs out of room to store that visceral fat, your body might start building it up inside nearby organs, which can lead to fatty liver disease and other issues.
In fact, one study found that men with beer bellies or a waste-to-hip ratio over 0.9 had a 87% higher risk for death than those who carried the same amount of fat in other parts of their body.
87%! That's right.
So even if you're otherwise skinny, a spare tire can threaten your life.
And guys are more likely to grow a gut as they get older because testosterone, a sex hormone that helps keep men slim, decreases with age.
So, while it's fun to joke about your developing dad bod, maybe just stick to having one or two brewskis a night instead of the whole six-pack.
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Why Do Men Get Beer Bellies?

1508 Folder Collection
yunfeicheng1 published on July 11, 2019    Jade Weng translated    Evangeline reviewed
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