#MenOfMI: Having a beer belly is not fruitful

In Ancient Greek culture, the largest men and women were considered the most desirable.  This was an outward projection of the status of those individuals.  The healthiest individuals were the largest while the skinny people were regarded as workers or peasants incapable of feeding themselves in the same capacity.  Unfortunately, it may have come at a price.

We don’t live in Ancient Greek times anymore.  The risks of being overweight go far beyond superficial reasons having to buy larger jeans; it is about your health.  For men especially, obesity is a dangerous risk we shouldn’t take lightly.  This is because we store fat differently than women.  Men typically have an android pattern of fat storage while women have a gynoid pattern.  The most recognized representation of these patterns is an apple (for males) and a pear (for females).

Don’t become an apple, or any fruit for that matter.

Beer is widely regarded as the preferential drink of choice for men.  Research has shown that diets that regularly include alcohol effect a person’s eating habits.  In addition, beer also has 60 calories per 17 oz (1.5 bottles) depending on the brand or style.  This combination is a major contributing factor to a phenomenon known by most as the “Beer Belly.”

A recent study in Germany found that men are more affected by daily consumption of beer than women.  The study found that 1000 ml (about 16 oz.) of beer daily resulted in a 17% increase in waist circumference while the same value did not show a correlation between women and waist size.  This increased waist circumference is linked to increased abdominal fat and the formation of the dreaded beer belly, a major factor in overall obesity.

The beer belly specifically offers many dangers that you should be aware of.  Cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes are more associated with android pattern obesity in males.  Research has found that individuals with larger waists have twice the premature death rate due to cardiovascular problems.  Abdominal fat also can lead to the development of diabetes, one of the most expensive preventable diseases in the United States.

This same study found that reducing the average consumption of beer in males lead to skinnier waists.  This can help to reverse the potential risks associated with obesity.  It is never too late to take the first step toward bettering yourself!

Do you have too much belly fat?

Wrap a tape measure around your waist at its smallest point (generally just above belly button) and measure.  Measurements greater than 40 inches (male) or 35 inches (female) are considered in the “larger waist” group and are associated with increased health risks.

What will you be doing to reduce you beer belly this summer?

Photo credit Ronnie23



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