- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2013

Call it the best Father’s Day present ever. A new study says that the notion of a beer belly is nothing but a myth.

Bloated bellies come from all alcohol — not just beer, researchers found, Time reported.

“The beer belly is a complete myth. The main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage is alcohol,” said University of California food science professor Charles Bamforth, in the Time report. “There’s nothing magical about the alcohol in beer, it’s just alcohol.”

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause a fluid buildup in the abdominal area, Mr. Bamforth said. But that’s not specific to beer — and it’s more indicative of liver damage than simple fat stores, Time reported.

The myth may have gathered steam because those who drink beer are downing drinks that are larger-sized than, say, a glass of wine, one alcohol researcher with Massachusetts General Hospital theorized, in Time. Beer serving sizes are 12 ounces; wine, on the other hand, contains 5 ounces. Liquor shots are generally just 1.5 ounces, Time reported.

“You are drinking it in more quantities than wine or liquor, so you tend to have more caloric intake,” the researcher told Time. “You are talking about a difference between several hundred calories a night and a couple hundred.”

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