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Reasons why Men are Becoming Pregnant and How to avoid it.

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.

2. Age
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.

4. Wealthy
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.

5. Beer
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.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Toni September 8, 2010, 2:10 pm

    A cool article sir. How do I accomplish weight loss. Greetings.

    • Joshua Arimi September 8, 2010, 2:21 pm

      Thanks Toni for your question. Weight loss is normally a personalised affair. Different people apply different strategies that work for them.

      Having said that there a few things that all who want to lose weight do:
      1. Cut, I mean cut the amount of calories consumed in a day. However, ensure you consume the minimum recommended calories.
      2. Exercise, being active helps burn calories.
      3. Lifestyle- Ensure you have a balanced lifestyle (healthy foods+exercise), avoid skipping meals or eating excessively during some meals. Avoid weight loss fads like plague. They will help you for a while, but once out of them, you will regain weight and even add.

      I hope this will offer you a starting point of your weight loss regime.

      NB: Some people it is genetic. Regardless of what they do, they will never lose weight once gained. Therefore, prevention is better than cure.

  • John September 9, 2010, 1:37 am

    Thanks for pointing out that beer bellies aren’t actually caused by beer, but its excess calories can’t help. Any credence to the hypothesis that all else equal, a calorie of alcohol isn’t as fattening as a food calorie?

    • Joshua Arimi September 10, 2010, 10:09 am

      Hi John,
      Sure, beer bellies are not actually caused by beer but excess calories regardless of their source.

      Excess calories are excess calories, whether from beer or food. Therefore, the cause of fattening is calories converted to fat. All factors held constant, beer and food calories have the same effect.

  • leonard September 9, 2010, 10:01 am

    Which is the healthiest beer to take? I believe all beers are not the same, some do claim have natural products used to make them.

    • DR FRED KAMUNDE September 9, 2010, 1:52 pm

      Dont be worried abt which is good or not .infact,moderate drinking is good for your health and social life.however,there are a group of beers called alcopops- which are flavoured alcoholic beverages-malt beverages to which various fruit juices or other flavorings have been added,
      beverages containing wine to which ingredients such as fruit juice or other flavorings have been added (wine coolers), or
      beverages containing distilled alcohol and added ingredients such as fruit juices or other flavorings.
      please avoid them.them added ingredients are instant killers i have done much research on alcohol and if u need help,ask.

    • Joshua Arimi September 10, 2010, 5:18 pm

      Hi Leonard,
      Thanks for your question. I will answer your question purely from Food Science angle and not moral assertion.

      There are several benefits and social benefits of drinking ~500 ml per day. Anything more than that is abusing the drink hence has its consequences which can be lethal.

      -Wine, particularly red wine has been shown to have several healthy benefits if consumed in moderation and especially after a meal. A glass of red wine after a meal will do you a great good health-wise due to polyphenols and other beneficial compounds. If you need more info on this, I can email them to you or write a specific on that.

      I do not agree with comments of Kamunde above about alcopops.

      Alcopops are alcoholic drinks specially made to target ladies and young drinkers. Therefore they are sweetened by different flavours to mask the bitter/astringent taste of beer. This way, young people and particularly teens are misled to think that those drinks are less alcoholic.

      Examples of alcopops include: Twisted Tea, Doc Otis Hard Lemon, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Rick’s Spiked Mandarin Lime, Smirnoff Ice, Skyy Blue, Captain Morgan Gold and Bacardi Silver – alcopops are a soft entry to the hard world of alcohol. Teens and young adults who drink alcopops may turn to the malt beverage “big brothers” – Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Stoli, and Bacardi – as adults.

      There is no healthy concern of the flavours used, particularly, fruit flavours. That is misleading.

      However, it is dangerous health-wise to mix drinks like red bull or any energy drink with other alcoholic drinks.

  • DR FRED KAMUNDE September 9, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Thanks Josh.You have hit the nail at the head here. i remember in my meru community where men with berry were treated as special and seen as wealthy.
    to add on your points, eating of inappropriate foods ‘junk’ or too much of a single food such as ‘maize and beans ‘every day is leading to obesity.if you ask me,i would classify all those pregnant men as obese and inside that berry,there are lots going on and its a life shortening thing’.blood pressure,stomach ulchers are all common with such men.
    certain foods we eat like sweetpotatoes,mangoes , sugarcane ,are high in sugars which take along time for the body to break and they are broken and stored as fats.sorry my lunch break is over but i think the can of coke i have takek is a top 10 sugar foods adding to my lovely biscuits.

    • Joshua Arimi September 10, 2010, 5:44 pm

      Thanks Kmunde for your contribution.

      I strongly differ with your assertion about alcopops. See my comment above.

      I agree that pot belly is part of obesity and is life shortening.

      I also differ with your suggestion that mangoes and sugarcane are full of dangerous sugars. These offer natural sugars that do not provide empty calories. So do not confuse sugar in natural form from sugarcane and processed sugar. They are different and their healthy effects are different

  • Mary Makena September 10, 2010, 6:56 am

    …a great enlightening article…hope many read this…and I'll b on the look out for part two!-bring it on! Good job! Asante

    • Joshua Arimi September 10, 2010, 5:45 pm

      You are welcome Mary. Watch the space for part 2. It will be very informative. I will discuss how to avoid the protruding belly.

  • Kennedy Mbaya September 10, 2010, 7:52 am

    What causes sausages (mikunjo kwa tumbo resembling sausages) in women, wht can end thm. Wht bout birth marks aka watermarks.

    • Joshua Arimi September 10, 2010, 5:58 pm

      Thanks Kennedy,
      Those sausages are just stored fat. It turns into those sausages because either those women spend most of the time seated hence folding of the skin.

      I am not sure what you are referring to watermarks.

  • Fiona Maore September 11, 2010, 4:46 am

    A gud one.kp it up.bt tel th ones who alrdy hav,ow 2 do away wit it.

    • Joshua Arimi September 23, 2010, 10:46 pm

      Thanks Fiona,
      I have posted the second part on ways to beat the pot belly. Make sure you read it. You will not regret.

  • Mutuma Naftaly September 11, 2010, 6:13 am

    Kudos Arimi. Lakini now its there whats next? na ikitoka dont you think people will start asking kama nilifutwa kazi or worse still recormend me for a p24 test?

    • Joshua Arimi September 23, 2010, 10:45 pm

      Check my second part Naftaly. From your comment, it sounds as if you live on behalf of opinions. Its your life man.

  • confidence February 2, 2011, 11:19 am

    i like how u answer their question but discuss more on alcopops

  • SSK April 27, 2011, 12:44 am

    This is really good. I actually heard the same thing from a medical doctor about Tumbos. I would just like to add a thing or two about alcohol consumption.

    From what I have learnt, for men the daily healthy limit is 3 measures of alcohol and for women its 2 measures of alcohol. A measure is equivalent to a small glass of standard table wine (red or white) or a 300ml bottle of non premium beer (below 4.2% alcoholic content).

    I think for wine I would say the common brands (Drostyhof, Bolland, etc.) that are available in the local supermarkets are standard (it is based on percentage, low % is better for you) and for beer Tusker is just at the edge at 4.2% but it is 500ml hence equal to 1 & 2/3rds measure. Hence men should drink roughly 2 tuskers a day or below and women 2 glasses of wine. (These are generally accepted standards but not definitive!)

    Also if you do decide to exceed, its good to know that the liver can only process 1 measure of alcohol per hour (average person, slower for smaller persons). i.e. for every 300ml you consume, you need an hour after for it to leave your body! Hence its good to regulate in order to reduce health at risks.

  • anonymous June 20, 2011, 7:22 am

    Regarding the pot/beer belly. My boyfriend eats very healthy foods and portions (my fit foods). He hasn’t been drinking beer for 6 months apx and he exercises so much (UPS driver) and works out daily in addition to that. All his stats and blood work are healthy but he has that pot belly too. He can’t figure out why. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Joshua Arimi June 30, 2011, 7:21 am

      Hi, Very good question. It could be a medical or gene related issue rather than dietary as it seems he doing everything right.

  • wills ify September 13, 2011, 6:32 pm

    How can I get rid of my pot belly

  • adam moro January 6, 2012, 9:57 am

    hi joe,mine has just started i not drink eat very late due to the time i close from work.pls help me to stop it and show me food that contain less fat so i can be eating them.i will be very glad if u get back to me as early as possible.THANKS,ADAM

  • Kevin September 16, 2012, 6:29 am

    What cultures exactly praise a beer belly? This is so interesting and new to me

  • Cyracks September 19, 2012, 7:42 pm

    Cultures from Nigeria respect and adore people with pot bellies just as you said in your aticle. My anty been a nurse taught us that healthy living means checking your weight regularly and practicing some weight loss program.

  • Danica October 27, 2012, 3:38 am

    How exactly does a beer belly happen on a cellular level?

  • sheerhealth magazine October 20, 2013, 8:39 pm

    Nice information,health is wealth.Keep it up bro.

  • mike October 12, 2014, 10:43 pm

    hi, i want to add weight…aam 60kg and aam feeling nasty about…is it recommended i take some beer?!

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