Are women hungrier than men?

I ran into an interesting article earlier today on the differences in the ability to suppress hunger between men and women.

Apparently, women are worse than men at suppressing hunger.  When the researchers ran their study, they asked the participants to try a technique (cognitive inhibition) to suppress their hunger.  Though both sexes claimed they were suppressing their hunger, the women’s brains were still firing in the hunger areas whereas the men’s brains were quiet.

Now this may just be proving that men are better at cognitive inhibition, and that another technique could work better for women.  But I think it’s an interesting study, nonetheless.  What are your thoughts?

19 Replies to “Are women hungrier than men?”

  1. Maybe it’s because men aren’t usually so strict with themselves? I’ve always heard that if you are too strict with yourself and don’t allow yourself to have what you crave, the craving only gets worse.

  2. Maybe because women are biologically made to reproduce, so it’s another defense system of our bodies? To make sure we get food when we need it?

    Very interesting.

  3. I just have to say that I love your blog. OK, this study makes so much sense to me. Once I get hungry, I cannot think about anything else until I get food in my system. My blood sugar drops and I get so snappy. My husband knows not to mess with me when it’s feeding time. He, on the other hand could be hungry for hours and eventually just forget about eating. Not fair!

  4. Makes sense to me. Even when my husband and I are both starving, he can deal with it, and I can’t. I can never ignore or “turn off” my hunger.

  5. Very interesting, although I think it has a lot to do with the pressure on women in our society to be there for others to Feast their Eyes on, if you will… Idk… It’s a very interesting topic though!

  6. I have no expertise in this area whatsoever and this is just a very wild guess: Maybe women aren’t more hungry per se, but have a lower tolerance for the sensation of hunger. This would be in agreement with the finding that they have a lower tolerance for pain, and one can see how this trait could have evolved over the ages:

    Men can get very thin and still function. (Must … resist … Steve Jobs … joke …) When they’re hunting a big animal, it makes sense that they keep chasing it until it’s exhausted (humans are very good endurance runners, as opposed to sprinters, compared to a lot of prey), catch it and bring it back to their herd, even though they’re already hungry, instead of giving up the chase in order to nibble on some less nutritious plants. If that makes them lose a couple of pounds in though times, so what. But when women get very thin, it’s much more precarious, from the point of view of evolution: in case they become pregnant, the chances of a successful birth are much lower when the mother has no fat reserves.

    Of coure none of this reasoning applies in modern times, so both sexes must, on average, be careful if they don’t want to become overweight. And apparently women have a harder time doing that. This might also be a factor contributing to eating disorders, but certainly other factors are even worse.

  7. Finally an explanation! When I say “I’m really hungry,” my husband knows to treat it like a red alert. I’ve never had the same experience with any man but I thought it was just me being a little oinker. Seriously though, very interesting article. Thanks for the link.

  8. Wow, it’s the opposite here. I can water fast for days but the guys, they MUST eat every 6 hours at the longest or they get crabby. Everyone is different, I guess..

  9. Very interesting. Adding to the post above…while men would have been hunting, the women would have been foraging for wild edibles and probably nibbling as they went. Agree also about the ability to reproduce since if a woman has too little body fat it may be hard to become pregnant (although I think a woman would have to be seriously underweight for it to be a problem). Weird thing about me, even though
    i am a woman, I find I work better if I am always a bit hungry because it keeps me alert.

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