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Is the ‘beer belly’ a myth?

I see a lot of “beer belly diets” advertised that claim to get rid of a beer belly. A pot belly in men is caused by drinking too much beer, right? Maybe not!

A study has shown that drinking beer doesn’t cause a beer belly. However, it’s no surprise that they found that drinking beer does lead to weight gain, which increases the size of your belly. :)

The beer belly study

German researchers studied 19,941 people aged between 35 and 65 years old and their beer consumption. They also had their weight and hip and waist measurements tracked over a 6 year period.

The participants were asked how much beer they drank and were then categorized into groups. For example, in women ‘moderate’ beer consumption was classified as 250ml (1 cup) a day. In men ‘moderate’ beer drinking was considered to be 500 to 1000ml (1 liter) a day.

What they found …

Researchers found that increased beer consumption over the study was linked with increased waist circumference, especially for men. However, when the person’s overall weight gain was taken into account, it showed the weight was spread over the body evenly. Any weight gain from beer drinking was distributed all over the body, not just on the waist.

Men who drank beer ‘heavily’ (over 1000 ml/day) had 17% increased risk of increased waist circumference compared with ‘light’ drinkers (less than 250ml/day). Women who did not drink beer at all had 12% decreased of increasing their waist circumference compared with ‘light’ drinkers (less than 125ml/day).

The researchers conclusion

The researchers wrote, “This study does not support the common belief of a site-specific effect of beer on the abdomen, the beer belly.”

The study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Note: You can track your waist circumference along with your weight changes using My Weight Software.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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