Food Cravings May Be Gender-Based

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Food Cravings May Be Gender-Based

A new study from B-N-L recently found that women may be less able to suppress their hunger than men.

Researchers interviewed a group of men and women about their favorite foods, then taught the  participants a cognitive-inhibition technique designed to help them keep their minds off eating. They were then sent off to bed without supper.

After completing the overnight fast, the test subjects were hooked up to a brain scanner and served the foods they’d talked about. While all the subjects reported that the cognitive-inhibition technique had helped throttle back their hunger, the scanner revealed that the appetite-control areas of the men’s brains remained inactive even when the chow was served up – while the same areas of the women’s brains became active, driving them to eat.

Is this difference in the ability to ignore hunger the reason why the obesity rate is higher for females? Possibly. After all, say researchers, a woman’s body provides nutrition for children, not just for the woman herself. So it only makes sense that the female brain may be “hard-wired” to eat whenever food is available.

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