A recent study lead by Gene-Jack Wang and his team of Brookhaven National Laboratory revealed that women are less able to suppress their appetite than men.
The study involved 10 men and 13 women who were quizzed about their favorite foods from pizza to cinnabons. After that, they were asked to fast overnight for the purpose of scanning their brains during the experiment. The volunteers were also taught “cognitive inhibition”, a way to mentally decrease the thoughts of hunger and decrease their appetite.
After an overnight of fasting, Wang and his colleagues asked the volunteers to apply the cognitive inhibition technique while being exposed to their favorite foods as they monitored their brains.
Wang noticed something interesting that may lead researchers closer to an answer for why more women are obese then men.
Both men and women agreed that their appetite was decreased BUT… their brain scan showed different. The men’s brain activity decreased while the women’s stayed active.
Many factors can contribute to this finding. One theory was that since women provide nutrition to their babies, they were hard wired to stock up for two. Hormones and emotional distress can also lead women to crave food more.
No doubt that more studies are needed to fight the obesity battle, but Wang suggests that helping people mentally train themselves to suppress food desires, then we can aid in the prevention of overeating that leads to obesity.
So am I a PIG?
I can attest that I used to constantly think of food. I craved sweets, salty foods.. you name it! But I totally agree that cognitive inhibition is a great way to suppress and decrease hunger. when I began my health journey, I realized how my weight problem was mostly mental. I had to control my brain and shift my thoughts in to viewing food as a tool for survival and not just for pleasure. Although.. I still love food! healthy versions of course.
Overall, I think the study revealed great points and I look forward to more like it. Yay Wang!