Revealed: Why women find it so hard to diet
Women find it harder to resist hunger pangs than men, a new study has revealed.
The research shows that women are far more likely to give in to temptation when offered a plate of their favourite food.
Scientists believe that the discovery explains why men find it easier to diet, and why there are higher obesity rates among women.
Twenty three healthy, slim volunteers were asked to fast for 17 hours, and were then offered plates of their favourite grub such as hamburgers, ice cream and chocolate cake.
But rather than enjoy the yummy treats, they were told to suppress their hunger by thinking non-food related thoughts.
Brain scans revealed that while the men’s brain activity slowed down, the part of the women’s brain that responded to food was still going strong.
‘The decreased inhibitory control in women could underlie their lower success in losing weight while dieting when compared with men,’ said Dr Gene-Jack Wang, who led the research.
‘We have seen in clinical studies that men following a diet are able to lose about 10 per cent of their weight on average over a three-month period, whereas women manage a decrease of only about 5 per cent.’
He added, ‘We need to understand which areas of the brain are involved in this difference between the sexes. There is something going on in the female.. Even though the women said they were less hungry when trying to inhibit their response to the food, their brains were still firing away in the regions that control the drive to eat.’
So, it’s not our fault when we can’t resist that second helping of chocolate cake!