Estrogen Thought to Keep Women Fatter

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Estrogen Thought to Keep Women Fatter

It’s just not fair. A guy who gains a few extra pounds can lose ‘em just by cutting back on potato chips or something. But a woman? Forget it! Women’s bodies tend to hang on to excess fat much more easily than men’s bodies do – but why?

Researchers at Australia’s University of New South Wales think they may have the answer. According to their review of current research, the female sex hormone estrogen is responsible. Estrogen is known to decrease the body’s ability to burn calories; the more estrogen in your system, the more your body stores fat. But, the researchers have now determined that this increased tendency to store fat – while doing nothing for the way you look in your jeans – prepares a woman’s body for childbearing. And since no man can know the inexpressible joy of motherhood, women have about 6–11 percent more body fat than men.

But, while estrogen does increase fat accumulation, it’s not the only reason women become obese. Obesity is a complex medical condition resulting from a combination of factors. Nevertheless, it does have an effect — so you potato chip lovers out there can expect to see additional research into estrogen’s relationship to obesity in the near future.

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