Romance Not on the Minds of ‘Hangry’ Women

The way to a person’s heart may be through the stomach – for both men and women. A study in Appetite reported that after having eaten food, women both with and without a history of dieting had higher levels of brain activation in reward-related regions when viewing romantic pictures. Women with a history of dieting were more responsive to romantic cues in the superior frontal gyrus when fasted and the middle temporal gyrus when fed compared to women without a history of dieting; in addition, women with a history of dieting had greater brain activation in areas of the brain linked to perception and goal-directed behavior when fed compared to fasting. These results are consistent with previous research indicating overlapping brain-based responses to sex, drugs, and food, lead author Alice Ely, PhD, added. It may not be specific types of food that are aphrodisiacs, but instead food itself.