3 Ways Your Beer Belly Is A Health Hazard

There’s no question that a six-pack is sexier than a beer belly, but there are far more reasons you should be concerned about your round stomach than being attractive to the ladies. It’s a huge danger to your health—read on.

Belly fat is unique in a bad way

Belly fat is a type called visceral fat—the fat that’s deep in the abdominal cavity that surrounds your organs–and it’s a more dangerous type than the subcutaneous fat (that’s the kind around your hips and thighs). And as bad luck would have it, men are more predisposed to belly fat. Visceral fat pumps out cytokines (chemicals linked to cardiovascular health risks). This type of fat is also located right near the vein that brings blood from your intestinal area to your liver. With this unique type of fat releasing a cocktail of chemicals that get to travel to your liver, these chemicals then mess with your body’s production of blood lipids, which may lead to high cholesterol levels.

A belly (even a small one) increases your death risk if you have coronary heart disease

Your weight is in the healthy range, but if you have a slight beer belly and suffer from coronary heart disease, your death risk is significantly higher than those who carry their excess weight elsewhere. How much higher? You are twice as likely to die. And that’s due in part to the belly fat causing changes in cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

A beer belly can cause intestinal cancer

A study published in 2013 in Cancer Prevention Research has found that belly fat is directly tied to increased risk of intestinal cancer. The study was performed on mice divided into three groups. Group 1 had access to an all-you-can-eat buffet—and got fat. Group 2 also had access to the same buffet, and got obese, too, but then had their visceral fat removed. Group 3 was only permitted a calorie-restricted diet. (Group 1 and 3 had sham surgeries, in case you were wondering). Group 1 developed the most tumours and had the worst survival rate. And Group 2, although still obese, had less visceral fat (as it’d been surgically removed) had fewer tumours.

Convinced to do something about your belly now? Click on over here for some exercises to help you strengthen your core that when combined with a weight-loss plan will help you flatten out your midsection.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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