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Neuroimaging of Sex/Gender Differences in Obesity: A Review of Structure, Function, and Neurotransmission

1
Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
2
Sensory Science and Metabolism Unit, National Institute of Nursing Research, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
3
Office of the Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 1942; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071942
Received: 5 June 2020 / Revised: 24 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
While the global prevalence of obesity has risen among both men and women over the past 40 years, obesity has consistently been more prevalent among women relative to men. Neuroimaging studies have highlighted several potential mechanisms underlying an individual’s propensity to become obese, including sex/gender differences. Obesity has been associated with structural, functional, and chemical alterations throughout the brain. Whereas changes in somatosensory regions appear to be associated with obesity in men, reward regions appear to have greater involvement in obesity among women than men. Sex/gender differences have also been observed in the neural response to taste among people with obesity. A more thorough understanding of these neural and behavioral differences will allow for more tailored interventions, including diet suggestions, for the prevention and treatment of obesity.
Keywords: obesity; sex; gender; taste; neuroimaging; MRI; PET; opioid; dopamine; serotonin obesity; sex; gender; taste; neuroimaging; MRI; PET; opioid; dopamine; serotonin
MDPI and ACS Style

Kroll, D.S.; Feldman, D.E.; Biesecker, C.L.; McPherson, K.L.; Manza, P.; Joseph, P.V.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J. Neuroimaging of Sex/Gender Differences in Obesity: A Review of Structure, Function, and Neurotransmission. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1942.

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