Sex differences in the regulation of body weight.

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA.
Physiology & Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.03). 03/2009; 97(2):199-204. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.02.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obesity and its associated health disorders and costs are increasing. Males and females differ in terms of how and where body fat is stored, the hormones they secrete in proportion to their fat, and the way their brains respond to signals that regulate body fat. Fat accumulation in the intra-abdominal adipose depot is associated with the risk for developing cardiovascular problems, type-2 diabetes mellitus, certain cancers and other disorders. Men and postmenopausal women accumulate more fat in the intra-abdominal depot than do pre-menopausal women, and therefore have a greater risk of developing metabolic complications associated with obesity. The goal of this review is to explore what we know about sexual dimorphisms in adipose tissue accrual and deposition. Elucidating the mechanisms by which sex hormones may modulate the way in which fat is accumulated and stored is a critical area of research due to the prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, and the rapid increase in propensity for these diseases following menopause.

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