The surprising results of a recent study may help explain why more American women are overweight than men: we can’t resist our favorite foods, even if we try to convince ourselves otherwise.
After 13 women and 10 men were taught a cognitive inhibition technique to impede thoughts of eating and hunger, they were given brain scans to see how they reacted to the sight of their favorite foods. Both groups claimed the inhibition technique helped to decrease their hunger, but the women’s scan results told a different story.
The part of the brain that responds to food stimuli decreased in the men, but stayed active in the women. Government researchers believe that this sustained drive to eat could be a result of women’s biological role to provide nutrition, leading to a stronger propensity to overeat.
With this and future studies that deepen the understanding of varying brain responses to food, experts can craft gender-specific weight-loss plans that help improve resistance.
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