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Hey Y’All. Beer Bellies Are a Myth. Kapish?! Now Enjoy a Cold One

on 13/06/13 at 3:12 pm


imagesConsider the cliché: a darkened room, a bleary-eyed middle-aged man collapsed into a couch, beer in hand, TV-flicker illuminating his sallow stubbled face, and a stomach threatening to escape from his pants like a giant mutant amoeba.

Blame that belly on the beer? Not so fast. According to University of California Davis food science professor Charles Bamforth, the colloquial notion of the beer belly — that beer somehow uniquely targets the gut – doesn’t jibe with medical science.

“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 doesn’t have V.I.P. dibs on abdominal fat in other words (any more than spot exercises like sit-ups burn stomach chub), it’s just another ingredient in your caloric regimen, though Bamforth notes that in cases of excessive alcohol consumption (read: abuse) you can develop something called ascites: a buildup of fluid around your abdomen that can cause distension of a sort, though in that case it’s likely related to actual liver damage.

So where did this idea that beer consumption spawns belly fat come from anyway?