Study Hall: Chicks Crave Food More Than Dudes. Duh.


A new study from Brookhaven National Laboratory published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, proves that men are more able to suppress their hunger and are therefore better dieters. I’ve yet to meet a straight man on a diet…maybe on an all-I-can-afford-is-ramen kick or I’ve-discovered-cocaine bender, but never a diet. It’s more like a we-need-a-ride-to-Wendy’s-every-three-hours-cause-we’re-stoned diet.

Dr. Gene-Jack Wang and his colleagues gathered 23 male and female volunteers who were of average weight and good health. The goal of the study was to figure out why some people overeat and gain weight while others don’t. They made the human guinea pigs fast for 17 hours and talk about their favorite foods. After the time had passed, the subjects were injected with a nuclear tracer and put into a brain-imaging PET (or positron emission tomography) scanner where they were brutally tempted with their favorite foods. Then Dr. Wang (heh) told his starved subjects to think of something else for 40 minutes while their brain waves (initially) went nuts with cravings.

The PET scans showed that both sexes can lower the sensation of hunger but men’s brain activity actually decreased (what else is new) while the part of women’s brains that responds to food was still active.  Dr. Wang isn’t sure why there are differences but suspects hormones are the culprit. We can blame all our misgivings on hormones? I just ate a pint of ice cream because I was way depresso, must have been those darn hormones!

I’m not sure if it’s a relief that cravings are out of my control or a bummer that my brain is making me fat, not the salt and vinegar Pringles. It’s my own stupid brain, the fatty lobed center of my hungry hungry nervous system. Dr. Wang needs to find a solution now, find that lobe and snip it Doc!

But while we’re waiting for the lobotomy, we’re wondering: what foods would you choose to be tortured with during an all-day fast?


WordUp: PET Scan: A  positron emission tomography scan, which creates a 3-D image of a bodily process. Go nuclear!

By the Numbers: 17 number of hours subjects had to fast


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