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Did You Know?: Women and Food Cravings

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Air date: February 1, 2009


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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It's true: according to a recent study by researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, women have more difficulty than men saying "no" to favorite foods.

Researched surveyed 13 women and 10 men about their favorite foods and then had the participants fast overnight.

The next day, the researchers scanned the participants’ brains as they were offered their favorite foods. The men and women also used a technique called "cognitive inhibition" to curb their culinary desires.

The scans revealed that activity in the part of the mens’ brains that responds to food decreased. But the same part of the womens’ brains remained just as active.

The study was small, involving only 23 subjects, so the results are inconclusive. The researchers could only speculate as to why womens' brains appeared to respond more forcefully to favorite foods.

But the researchers suggest that the study could help explain why more women than men are obese.

And now you know.