WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new study may help explain why obesity occurs at a higher rate in women than in men.
The study says when faced with their favorite foods, women are less able than men to suppress their hunger.
Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory performed brain scans on 13 women and 10 men who had fasted overnight.
The next day they underwent brain scans while being presented with their favorite foods. In addition, they used a technique called cognitive inhibition, which they had been taught, to suppress thoughts of hunger and eating.
While both men and women said the inhibition technique decreased their hunger, the brain scans showed that men's brain activity actually decreased, while the part of women's brains that responds to food remained active.
The findings are in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.3 percent of American women and 33.3 percent of men were considered obese in 2006.
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