Female brain responds more actively to food. North American study explains greater obesity among women.
The women’s brain responds more actively when exposed to food than men, why women are more obese than men, showed a U.S. study published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study, led by researchers Gene-Jack Wang, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Addiction and co-author of the discovery published by the National Academy of Sciences, says that women have the least capacity men to suppress hunger, which may explain the fact that there is more obesity among the female gender.
The researchers performed brain monitoring of the 13 women and ten men in fasting, when they found a different signal in the brain of women when exposed to their preferred food. Even using the technique of cognitive inhibition, used to suppress the thought of food and hunger, the brain responds to food of women remained active, while the man fell.
“The difference of gender is somewhat surprising and the nutritional needs may be responsible for this,” said Nora Volkow. He added: “The fact that the traditional role of women is to provide food for their children may be a stimulus in the brain of women to consume foods when available.”
Eric Stice, expert on eating disorders, described the discovery as provocative, saying that the difference may be related to the difference in estrogen and hormones between men and women. In 2006, 35.5 percent of North American women were obese, compared with 33.3 percent of men, according to data centers of control and prevention of diseases in the United States.
Data from the study
Title: Evidence of gender differences in the ability to Inhibit brain activation elicited by food stimulation
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online on 21 January 2009
Authors: Gene-Jack Wang, Nora D. Volkow, Frank Telang, Millard Jayne, Yeming Ma, Kith Pradhan, Wei Zhu, Christopher T. Volkow, Frank Telang, Millard Jayne, Yeming Ma, kithara Pradhan, Wei Zhu, Christopher T. Wong, Panayotis K. Wong, Panayotis K. Thanos, Allan Geliebter, Anat Biegon, Joanna S. Thanos, Allan Geliebter, Anat Biegon, Joanna S. Fowler. Fowler.