Beer lovers around the world raise your glasses--it might not only be how much you drink that determines the size of your beer belly, it could be your genes.
A team of Italian scientists has linked a gene, known as DD and present in about 40 percent of the population, to abdominal weight gain in men.
In a study published in the medical journal, Annals of Internal medicine, researchers monitored some 300 male factory workers over a 20-year period and found that DD carriers put on 50 percent more weight--an average 9.9 pounds against 6.6 pounds for non-carriers. "some people, despite their sacrifice of looking at calories and trying to exercise as much as they can, tend to put on fat because they are genetically susceptible," research leader Pasquale Strazzullo, from the Federico II University of Naples Medical School, told reporters.
The first set of figures collected in 1987 did not include waist measurements, so in the 1996-97 data gathering Strazzullo took this measurement and widened his sample to about a thousand workers to calculate more accurately just how much bellies had ballooned.
He found the waist of a DD carrier grew by an average of nearly one inch over 10 years, compared to just under 0.3 inches for those men without the gene.
The team also found around 52 percent of the DD men were overweight compared to almost 44 percent of non-carriers.