Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Do Women Store Fat Differently From Men?

Date:
March 4, 2009
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
It's a paradox that has flummoxed women for generations -- their apparent ability to store fat more efficiently than men, despite eating proportionally fewer calories. While it has long been suspected that female sex hormones are responsible, a new research review has for the first time drawn a link between one hormone -- estrogen -- and its impact on fat storage for childbearing.

It's a paradox that has flummoxed women for generations – their apparent ability to store fat more efficiently than men, despite eating proportionally fewer calories.

While it has long been suspected that female sex hormones are responsible, a University of New South Wales (UNSW) research review has for the first time drawn a link between one hormone – oestrogen – and its impact on fat storage for childbearing.

On average, women have 6 to 11 percent more body fat than men. Studies show oestrogen reduces a woman's ability to burn energy after eating, resulting in more fat being stored around the body. The likely reason is to prime women for childbearing, the review suggests.

"Female puberty and early pregnancy – times of increased oestrogen – could be seen as states of efficient fat storage in preparation for fertility, foetal development and lactation," the study's author Associate Professor Anthony O'Sullivan, from UNSW's St George Clinical School, said.

The findings, which appear in Obesity Reviews, may have implications for dietary advice given to women during pregnancy and the design of exercise regimes.

"From an energy balance point of view there is no explanation why women should be fatter than men, particularly since men consume more calories proportionately," Associate Professor O'Sullivan said. "In fact, women burn off more fat than men during exercise, but they don't lose body fat with exercise as much suggesting women are more efficient fat storers at other times. The question is why does this paradox exist?"

An obvious answer is that fat storage by women gives an evolutionary benefit, he said. However, additional research was needed to provide more insights into the role of oestrogen in the regulation of body fat.

Associate Professor O'Sullivan stressed that while oestrogen's effects on postprandial fatty acid oxidation provide a mechanism for fat accumulation, the findings do not explain why some women are obese. Factors contributing to obesity are complex and include both genetic and environmental factors, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Why Do Women Store Fat Differently From Men?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302115755.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2009, March 4). Why Do Women Store Fat Differently From Men?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302115755.htm
University of New South Wales. "Why Do Women Store Fat Differently From Men?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302115755.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins