Who Gets A Beer Belly

Most people think the beer belly—an accumulation of fat around the abdominal area—is associated with excess consumption of beer. But why a beer belly happens and who it tends to affect may have less to do with downing pints of lager, and more to do with high calorie consumption and lack of exercise.

The Beer Belly: Who Gets a Beer Belly and Why?

A beer belly seems to be linked to a number of factors, including age, gender and calorie consumption. Although beer intake isn’t specifically linked to what we think of as a beer belly, beer and other forms of alcohol are high in calories. If these calories aren’t burned off through physical activity, they can be stored in the body as fat.

Most of us are more vulnerable to fat accumulation as we age, since our metabolism tends to slow and our activity levels often drop. Men, in particular, are susceptible to the development of the beer belly, since they’re more likely than women to deposit excess fat in the abdominal area. However, women can develop abdominal fat, especially after menopause.

Preventing the Beer Belly

If you’re a physically inactive male adult, you may find yourself in the high-risk category for beer belly development. Knowing what causes a beer belly can help you get rid of a beer belly if you already have one—or prevent one.

Whether you’re male or female, there are things you can do to reduce your likelihood of develop excess belly fat. Here are few tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t fall prey to unconscious drinking. Even if you don’t feel full after a glass of beer, you should know that you’ve just consumed about 140 calories. The Mayo Clinic (2010) recommends that men limit themselves to two drinks per day.
  • Stay physically active as you age. Thirty minutes a day of vigorous exercise can help you maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Reduce calorie intake in other areas. All extra calories—not just those found in beer—can contribute to the development of a beer belly.

In order to eliminate a beer belly, experts recommend doing exercises designed to flatten your stomach, eating a healthy diet, living an active lifestyle and practicing strength training.

Resources

Ask Men. (2010.) Beer bellies. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from http://www.askmen.com/sports/foodcourt_200/226_eating_well.html#

Mayo Clinic. (2010.) Belly fat in men: Why weight loss matters. Retrieved January 7, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/MC00054/NSECTIONGROUP=2

Mayo Clinic. (2009). Belly fat in women: How to keep it off. Retrieved January, 10, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/WO00128

Schutze, M. (2009.) Beer consumption and the ‘beer belly’: Scientific basis or common belief? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19550430