Beer gets the blame for men who like it and who also happen to have pot bellies. Does beer really cause pot bellies in men?
The truth is that beer’s reputation for this is a bit undeserved. Why? Because it’s a big contributor but not solely responsible for pot bellies. Then again, you could be forgiven for quickly blaming a beer lover’s pot belly on beer since it is the BIG contributor.
Anyway, this is how beer does it. For starters, beer contains quite a lot of calories – about 130 to 160 per bottle – which usually gets stored around the belly and the waist. When you consider that most guys typically conquer more than one bottle at a sitting, that gives you an idea the gravity of the situation.
Secondly, beer often goes down with something that is also high in calories: could be some potato chips, pizza, chicken, pork or whatever. That’s not a very forgiving combination.
Alcohol also increases appetite. Accordingly, unconsciously overeating is likely to follow a streak of beers. More calories. When you take beer also, it doesn’t fill your tummy quite as long as other solid foods do, so just like the danger of taking in more calories by drinking a lot of fruit juice and still feeling compelled to eat afterwards, you get the calories from beer and still go a bit hungry with more room for food in your stomach.
In relation to that, when you take in alcohol, the liver places priority on burning the alcohol for energy before utilizing the fat.
Another reason for the perceived association between alcohol and pot bellies is that older men are more predisposed to storing excess fat on their bellies. This is because declining hormone levels as men age, increases the chances of storing excess fat there. A young boy has better chances of storing excess fat more evenly on their body. Closely related to that, men typically lack the ability that women have, to store some of the excess fat around their thighs, butts and in their breasts.
Does a pot belly matter? Yes it does. Beyond looking a bit out of shape and the social problems that may be associated with that , a pot belly and a huge waste line from beer and other high calorie foods means you’ll have a lot of visceral fat (the type of fat deposited inside around your organs) and a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Ouch.