The beer belly has long been associated with those who frequently enjoy beer. Some extra pounds around the waist have always been considered an inevitable consequence of drinking beer on a regular bias. Despite the persistence of this myth, there’s no scientific evidence to support it. Here’s a look at the myth and three reasons why it just won’t go away.
Consuming enough of anything with calories can lead to weight gain. Beer is certainly no exception to this rule, but the beer belly myth has always suggested that beer can especially lead to weight gain. The fact of the matter is there is very little evidence to suggest there’s anything in beer that would make this so. Several recent scientific studies have shown that regular beer drinkers are no more likely to be overweight than folks who regularly consume any other type of alcohol.
There are several reasons why this myth has stuck around. For one, many people are under the false assumption that beer is much higher in calories than it really is. As we’ve discussed several times, even so called “heavier” beers like Guinness aren’t significantly higher in calories than other beverages. As long as you enjoy beer responsibly and in moderation there’s no reason why beer would lead to belly fat any more than anything else.
Another factor contributing to this myth is the fact that beer has historically been mostly enjoyed by men. Although in recent years woman beer drinkers are finally demanding to be heard, for long time beer was generally just a man’s drink. Scientific studies suggest that men tend to store excess weight around the belly, while woman tend to keep it on the hips and butt. This fact has probably led many to believe it was beer giving a man a spare tire, when really it was nature.
Finally, let’s not forget that after a heavy night of drinking many of us tend to seek out greasy, fatty food before we hit the hay. These late night meals may be delicious, but they’re terrible for your body. Laying down for 8 hours or more doesn’t really burn any of those tasty calories you just consumed, so your body converts them to fat for long term energy storage. Of course, when you order that peporoni pizza at 3:00 am the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your waist size.