In Brief

IN BRIEF

January 26, 2009

Women are less able to suppress hunger

Faced with their favorite foods, women are less able than men to suppress their hunger, a discovery that may help explain the higher obesity rate for females, a new study suggests.

Gene-Jack Wang of Brookhaven National Laboratory and his colleagues were trying to figure out why some people overeat and gain weight while others don't. They performed brain scans on 13 women and 10 men who had fasted overnight to determine how their brains responded to the sight of their favorite foods. They report their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the study, participants were quizzed about their favorite foods, and then were asked to fast overnight. The next day they underwent brain scans while being presented with their favorite foods. In addition, they used a technique called cognitive inhibition 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.

Associated Press

MRSA infections on the rise in kids

Researchers say they found an "alarming" increase in children's ear, nose and throat infections nationwide caused by dangerous drug-resistant staph germs. Other studies have shown rising numbers of skin infections in adults and children caused by these germs, nicknamed MRSA, but this is the first nationwide report on how common they are in deeper tissue infections in the head and neck. The study found the percentage caused by hard-to-treat MRSA bacteria more than doubled from 2001 to 2006.

The study is in January's Archives of Otolaryngology.

Associated Press

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