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August 17, 2009
I found not too recent but quite interesting news. In January 2009, online journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the results of an extensive study involving brain-imaging (PET scanning). The specialists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory studied the responses of men and women on the feeling of hunger and came to the conclusion that modern gentleman can control their hunger more successfully than ladies do. This interesting experiment can throw a light on why overweight and obesity rates in females are higher, and why it is usually easier for men to put off weight and be in a better shape by controlling food intake.
Neurobiologist Gene-Jack Wang, MD, and his colleagues used PET technology to scan brain activity of 10 men and 13 women, who refrained from eating for 17-19 hours and then were given the pictures of their favorite foods. To increase the effects, the researchers were sending the smell of the foods through the experiment lab and even giving the taste of each particular food to the tongue of every participant with a cotton swab. During the second scan procedure the participants were asked to try keeping their feeling of hunger under control and inhibit their cravings for food. That is how the researchers intended to measure hunger control abilities in men and women.
It turned out that male and female participants demonstrate different reactions on the request to suppress their thoughts of hunger.“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,” the leader of the research team comments. “In contrast, men’s brain activity decreased along with their self-reports of hunger during the scan when they were asked to keep their hunger in check.” Therefore, the men showed better skills in hunger control, the scientists say.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention informs that in 2006, 33.3 % of American men and 35.5 % of American women (adult people above 20) were diagnosed as obese. It accounts for more than one third of total population of the country, which means more than 70 millions of people, and this statistics is more than just scary. In this context, studying the patterns of controlling food intake in men and women are significant because there is an urgent necessity of looking for effective solutions and ways to save modern society from increasing rates of obesity, one of the most terrible and destroying curses of our epoch.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.