This general acceleration in body fat accumulation, particularly sex-specific fat, is attributed mostly to changes in female hormone levels. After adolescence, the accumulation of sex-specific fat more or less stops, or decreases dramatically, in healthy-weight women, and there is usually no further increase in the number of fat cells. Fat cells in males also do not tend to multiply after adolescence.
Men tend to store excess fat in the visceral, or abdominal, region. This deposit has no apparent physiological advantage. On the contrary, it is downright dangerous.
A large potbelly, where waist girth begins to exceed hip girth, is strongly associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, elevated triglycerides, hypertension, cancer and general overall mortality.