Beer gut, beer belly, “the keg”… Whatever you prefer to call that mass that lies below your chest and hangs over your pants can officially no long be blamed on Americas most beloved beverage…the beer.
According to University of California Davis food science professor Charles Bamforth, the colloquial notion of the beer belly — that beer somehow uniquely makes a home in your gut is not medically true.
“The beer belly is a complete myth. The main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage is alcohol,” Bamforth told Popular Science. “There’s nothing magical about the alcohol in beer, it’s just alcohol.”
Alcohol does not invade and colonize your mid-section, it’s just another ingredient in your caloric regimen, though Bamforth notes that in cases of excessive alcohol consumption (i.e. abuse) you can develop something called ascites: a buildup of fluid around your abdomen that cancause distension of a sort, though in that case it’s likely related to actual liver damage.
So what’s with the reason for placing this stigma on our poor defenseless brews?
Dr. Aliyah Sohani, a Massachusetts General Hospital alcohol researcher suggests it may have to do with serving sizes: Both cans and bottles of beer average 12 ounces, while your average glass of wine contains five and your average shot glass is just 1.5 ounces.
“You are drinking it in more quantities than wine or liquor, so you tend to have more caloric intake,” says Sohani. “You are talking about a difference between several hundred calories a night and a couple hundred.”
Combine the caloric intake with the lack of diet and exercise, well you see the results.
So the key takeaways from all of this bit of information:
- Always drink in moderation
- Remember to exercise
Hopefully not in that order.