How Do You Get a Beer Belly? It's Not Just The Brew, Learn More

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By Daniel Joseph Cruz | May 8, 2014 11:59 AM EST

Men's favorite hang-out alcoholic beverage (and probably women too) gets all the blame for the burgeoning bellies resulting from drinking too much of it. While it holds true that beer is a major contributor to drinkers' growing waistlines, it's not hard to imagine other factors that add up to the equation as well.

REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Beer bottles from all over the world are on display at the Hop museum in Wolnzach on April 10, 2014. A slump in consumption of more than a third in the last 25 years has hit Germany, Europe's biggest beer producer, triggering intense competition and price discounting. With young Germans turning to spirits and non-alcoholic fruit drinks, beer sales fell 2 percent last year alone. Traditional family breweries, also under pressure from double-digit rises in energy, glass and malt costs, are struggling, some dying. In a bid to move upmarket and charge more, some breweries are trying to tap into growing demand for speciality beer. Picture taken April 10, 2014. To match Feature GERMANY-BEER/

Everybody knows that enjoyable beer drinking sessions won't be complete without anything to snack on. Add beer's 150-caloric content (which heavy drinkers can down 10 or more in one session) to the food in the table and there's the answer to the extra belly flab drinkers have been dreading about. Overall calorie intake in drinking, or any kind of excessive food bingeing causes the body to store more fat. According to studies, calories not used for energy immediately gets stored as fat. To the sedentary or non-athletic beer drinker, it obviously means storing unwanted luggage in the waist is inevitable.

When alcohol enters the body, the liver rather burns alcohol instead of fat. Accompany beer drinking with heavy food intake, all the unused calories turned into fat will pass through the digestive system unburned and will ultimately accumulate in unwanted body parts -- especially the midsection.

Aside from the body's function in absorbing alcohol, metabolism that slows through aging worsens the problem.  Metabolism slows down greatly after the age of 35. Combine age, gender, excessive calorie intake, and the result is a protruding beer belly. "Beer bellies tend to be more prominent in older people because as you get older, your calorie needs go down, you often become less active, and gaining weight gets easier," wrote Kathleen M. Zelman of WebMD.

What's all the fuss with having a beer belly? It may not only be unattractive to others, but it also imposes a huge threat to health. According to Men's Health, the fat that surrounds the midsection puts an individual at greater risks of heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases.

Best way to avoid belly fat from developing while drinking beer or any alcoholic beverages would be to do it in moderation. Lessen the food intake, as well as the beer bottles. Keep active and exercise whenever possible to make up for the excess calories.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Michael Dalder / )
Beer bottles from all over the world are on display at the Hop museum in Wolnzach on April 10, 2014. A slump in consumption of more than a third in the last 25 years has hit Germany, Europe's biggest beer producer, triggering intense competition and price discounting. With young Germans turning to spirits and non-alcoholic fruit drinks, beer sales fell 2 percent last year alone. Traditional family breweries, also under pressure from double-digit rises in energy, glass and malt costs, are struggling, some dying. In a bid to move upmarket and charge more, some breweries are trying to tap into growing demand for speciality beer. Picture taken April 10, 2014. To match Feature GERMANY-BEER/
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