One esteemed reader of this website asked me to discuss why men become pregnant. At first, I thought she was talking about men who change their gender (sex). Then she went further and clarified that she was referring to ‘pot belly’ or what many refer to as ‘beer belly’. Oh, I came to my senses. I am now speculating that she is eying a man with ‘pot belly’ and she is worried what caused it and if there is a possibility of eliminating it or preventing one from developing.
I have good news. In a series of articles, starting with this one, I will discuss what causes pot belly in men and how to prevent it.
By the way, have you ever talked to a man with a ‘potbelly’? did you notice how some move their right hand along the curve of the belly as they talk. Most likely, he was attracting your attention to his belly since he thought that the belly is a sign of power or achievement.
However, the truth is that, a pot belly is a sign that things are not going very well health wise.
Why does men develop ‘pot belly’ or ‘beer belly’.
Pot belly or ‘beer belly effect’ is caused by excess calories. These calories lead to accumulation of fat in the abdomen, hence the abdomen protrudes excessively leading to a pot belly. The calories can be derived from many foods but mostly from high calories foods such as fat and beer.
Why are ‘beer bellies’ common in men than in women
Pot bellies are prevalent in men because of how men store fat. Men tend to gain weight in the abdomen while when tend to accumulate their fat in thighs and pelvic area. Therefore men develops un-attractive pot belly or beer belly while women have attractive rear.
Reasons why men allow fat to accumulate and develop Pot Belly
There are several reasons that cause men to allow fat to accumulate in their abdomen which leads to pot belly. Some of these factors are social while others are eating habits and lifestyles.
1. Social status.
Some cultures highly regard men with protruding bellies. Western cultures loathe beer bellies, but some less developed countries still cherish pot bellies. They view these men as wealthy, comfortable, powerful and satisfied in life. This encourages younger men to develop bellies to receive such praise and recognition in the society.
Generally as men grow older they develop potbellies. Can you remember your slim high school sweetheart, how does he look now. Pot belly does not occur to all men with age. It is only common occurrence to men who reduce the level of activity and exercising with age.
The level of exercising with age is also influenced by culture and social standings. In some communities, it is a taboo for men of a certain age to be seen running like children. They are required to walk in manner that suggests that they are mature and respectable.
3. Marital Status
Generally, unmarried men are skinny compared to married men. This is attributed to the fact that unmarried men, do not take time to cook and eat well. Most bachelors survive on the minimum food possible. After marriage, they have access to food and a lot of it. This can propel excessive eating habits leading to development of potbellies.
This is a controversial point. Most men as they accumulate wealthy, their lifestyle changes. They no longer walk long distances, instead, they drive. Their jobs change from moving from office to office to just sitting on a desk the whole day.
Computer era has also a lot to be blamed for this. All files are handled digitally, therefore there is limited movements.
Others still think that, if they are wealthy, they should look ‘fat’. In other words, wealth is synonymous with fat people in some communities.
There is a popular belief that pot bellies in men are caused by drinking beer. This is why pot belly is referred to as ‘beer belly’. However, lets evaluate the facts, there are people who do not drink but develop pot belly. At the same time, there are people who are daily drinkers yet are extremely skinny. Therefore we should not generalise beer as a bad evil that impregnates men.
There are several reasons why beer is blamed for pot bellies in men.
1. The first reason is that beer is high in calories. 1 gram of alcohol contains approximately 7 Calories. This is the second highest number of calories compared to other macronutrients in food. 1 gram of fat contains 9 Calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 Calories and 1 gram of protein contains 4 Calories. Calories in beer are referred to as empty calories. This implies that most of these calories end up converted into fat.
A 500 ml beer (approximately 1 pint) which is 5 % v/v alcohol contains approximately 170 Calories. This means that consuming 5 beer bottles of 500 ml gives a total of 850 Calories. These are only derived from beer. When you add the calories from the other foods then you exceed the daily recommended calorie intake.
2. Beer consumption leads to hunger, this can cause a person to eat additional unhealthy foods which are also high in calories such as barbecue meat (commonly referred to as choma), sausages and other fatty foods. Actually, many beer drinkers say that fatty foods reduces the level of drunkenness.
3. Beer also leads to dropping of blood sugars level. This leads to lethargy. Lethargy leads to reduced activity which implies that less calories are burned. The burning of less calories increases the likely hood of accumulation of fat and hence pot belly.
I love questions. Why not leave them in comments section.
Don’t forget to read part 2 of this.