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Health Psychol. 1991;10(2):133-42.

Gender differences in eating behavior and body weight regulation.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Gender differences in food intake and selection first appear in adolescence. Men consume more calories than women, and the sexes have different eating styles, which indicate that women have been socialized to eat in a more feminine manner. Women experience more food-related conflict than men do, in that they like fattening foods but perceive that they should not eat them. Pressures to be thin are present in early adolescence, as noted by dieting behavior starting in very young girls. Women experience more dissatisfaction with their body weight and shape than men do. Sociocultural and psychological factors may be important in the etiology of eating disorders, which are much more prevalent in females than in males. Thus, further studies of gender differences in eating behavior will be important for understanding the etiology of eating and body-weight disorders and for designing gender-appropriate treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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