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Beer Belly: Men Have a Higher Risk Than Women


The link between weight gain and drinking alcohol is stronger in men than women. This is thought to be because men tend to drink more heavily than women, perhaps up to three times as much (7, 20, 21, 22).

Men are also much more likely to have an android fat distribution, meaning they store fat around the belly when they gain weight (23, 24).

Additionally, men are more likely to drink beer than women. This could be important since beer contains more calories than many other sources of alcohol.

For example, 1.5 oz (45 ml) of spirits contains around 97 calories and a standard 5-oz (148-ml) serving of red wine contains 125 calories. A standard 12-oz (355-ml) serving of beer contains more than both of these at 153 calories (2, 25, 26).

Another reason men may be at more risk of getting a beer belly is due to alcohol’s effect on the male sex hormone testosterone. Drinking alcoholic drinks like beer has been shown to lower levels of testosterone (27, 28, 29).

This is important to note, since low levels of testosterone may increase your risk of weight gain, especially around the belly (30, 31, 32, 33).

In fact, 52% of obese men have levels of testosterone at the low end of the normal range (34).

This research suggests that men are much more likely to develop beer bellies.

Summary: Men tend to drink more than women, which can result in more weight gain. Drinking alcohol can also lower levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, increasing their risk of belly fat.

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