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A new study revealed the fact that women respond better to romantic signals on a full stomach than an empty one. So, the saying implied would be that a way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach.
Research in US-based Drexel University conducted a study based on two groups formed of women: those who followed a diet in the past and those who never dieted. The brain circuitry in women was thoroughly analyzed according to these two categories, and according to hungry vs. satiated conditions in females.
Alice Ely, study leader and main author, reported that she and her team discovered that women with or without a history in dieting responded better to romantic cues on a full stomach than when hungry. To be more precise, brain activity in relation to romantic pictures being shown to satiated women was greater.
Ely, who now is a member at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research, and fellow member of the University of California’s School of Medicine, said that the results were contradictory to previous research which stated that people reacted better emotionally to gratifying stimuli when hungry. These stimuli could be categorized into three categories, for instance food, drugs, and money.
Particularly, the scientific team studied whether the brain’s satisfaction response to food was significantly different in women inclined to future obesity, because of their metabolism, with a history in dieting, vs. non-dieting women. The study subjects were young women, of normal weight.
The study published in the journal Obesity revealed that the brains of women who had previously followed a diet responded acutely to food signals when fed, in comparison to women who hadn’t a history in dieting or who were dieting at that time.
Ely explained that in the satiated state, previous dieters exhibited a more significant reaction in the reward areas of the brain through highly noticeable signals vs. neutral or moderately satisfaction-related signals, respectively (compared to the other two segments).
The tests were conducted via magnetic resonance imaging. It seems that the centers of the brain related to gratifying concepts did respond regarding all groups when fed, but women who had dieted resembled a rather different, more intense neural activity.
One of Ely’s conclusions was that eating may incline women to become more sensitive to romantic-related rewards, while she discovered that the neurocircuitry for food and sex was also shared and valid.
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