“Beer Belly” in Men: Health Implications
The abdomen in a man, as a rule, begins to grow somewhere around forty. It is believed that the blame for everything is the addiction to the famous foamy drink, hence the name “beer belly”. Is it really?
To some extent, yes – beer lovers are at risk. But not only them.
Swedish scientists conducted a study that showed that the stomach in men, as well as in women, grows not so much from beer as from malnutrition, a sedentary lifestyle, and hereditary predisposition.
Does this mean that it’s not about beer? Yes and no. Beer also contributes, but not at the expense of calorie content (its calorie content is not so high – only 50 kcal per 100 g), but at the expense of snacks, which are consumed in large quantities by lovers of this drink. And these are, as a rule, chips, smoked meats, salted nuts and the like – the food is not the most wholesome and very high-calorie.
In addition, more often than not, a cup doesn’t work – lovers can drink a few liters in the evening. And their stomach is stretched due to the drunk. And if it is not full, then a person feels hunger and, accordingly, begins to eat more and more. In addition to this, alcohol, and snacks to it, stimulate appetite, which also contributes to the accumulation of fat. Well, after a few liters of beer, hardly anyone will go in for sports – with a full stomach and moving is not easy.
Thus, fat accumulates in the abdominal cavity and obesity develops, moreover, according to the most dangerous abdominal type, that is, fat is deposited in the waist area, which simply disappears.
What is visceral fat?
Fat in the body can be located under the skin throughout the body, and can build up on the internal organs – this is the so-called visceral fat. It is he who forms the “beer belly”.
Everyone has visceral fat, the body needs it. Covering all internal organs with a thin layer: the liver, intestines, heart, lungs, it warms them, protects against shaking, serving as a kind of shock absorber. But when too much of this fat accumulates, a person develops obesity and health problems begin.
What is dangerous “beer belly”
Normally, visceral fat should make up 10-15% of all body fat. A thin person will have about three kilograms of such fat. And the owner of the “beer belly” its mass can reach 30 kilograms! Imagine how much weight the poor fellow has to carry all the time on himself – and you can throw this burden so easily. And the huge belly hanging over the belt is very ugly in itself. But this is not the worst. Worse, the fat layer at the waist is hazardous to health.
Accumulating in large quantities on organs, fat compresses them, interfering with normal functioning.
In order to constantly bear such a burden, the heart has to work in heavy duty, and besides, the fat layer also presses on it. Fat compresses blood vessels, impairing the nutrition of the heart muscle.
Since fat, like a huge feather bed, “chokes” all organs, blood circulation and lymph flow are disturbed.
The lungs, squeezed by fat, are not able to completely straighten out, which means that the supply of oxygen to the brain and heart is deteriorating. Shortness of breath, interruptions in cardiac activity appear.
Visceral fat affects the metabolism. It produces hormones, in particular leptin. Normally, leptin controls glucose metabolism. When its blood content rises above normal, which happens with abdominal obesity, insulin production decreases, which contributes to a violation of carbohydrate metabolism and is fraught with the development of diabetes.
Adipose tissue also produces female sex hormones estrogens. The owners of the “beer belly” have an increased amount of estrogen, and the level of testosterone – the male hormone – has been reduced.
What health problems can a beer belly cause?
Firstly, these are diseases of the cardiovascular system: ischemic disease, myocardial infarction, hypertension, atherosclerosis.
Obesity, along with hypertension and atherosclerosis, creates a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This risk is increased due to a violation of carbohydrate metabolism due to hormonal imbalance.
Because of the constant strong pressure on the legs, the veins suffer, therefore, the owners of the beer belly are often diagnosed with varicose veins that can develop into thrombophlebitis.
Violation of the ratio of sex hormones leads to problems with potency in men and even infertility.
And another danger of visceral fat is an increased risk of developing cancer, in particular intestinal cancer.
Is it possible to remove the “beer belly”
You can, but for this you will have to completely change your lifestyle, and not just stop drinking beer. (Although it is necessary to abandon it, as, indeed, of other alcohol.) Proper nutrition and physical activity will help. And this is not about strict diets, but about a complete change in eating behavior, and not about a month or two of intense pumping up, but about regular physical activity as an integral part of lifestyle.