T Nation

Comfort Foods: Why Is This?

I was standing in line to get into the cafeteria at my school. It was a special thing they have at the end of the semsster during finals to give u something to eat, this happened to be a ice cream bar (Since I am studying for finals, my training and nutrition have somewhat taken a backseat).

Anyway, I noticed that about 3/4 of the people in line were female. It got me to thinking that I also notice that in any other situation similar to this. I notcied that women do tend to eat the sweeter food as their bad part of their diet or a comfort food rather. However, men dont really eat those nearly as much. They tend to eat more of the french fries, wings, or burgers, something along those lines. I could just be rembling on and on. Does anyone else notice this?

That’s funny you mention that because I have noticed the same thing, but I don’t know the reasoning behind it. Maybe wings and fries seem more manly, and you associate it with manly things (although I do love ice cream), and maybe ice cream seems more feminine.

Women will share a gallon of ice cream while watching reruns of Sex and the City. Guys will eat wings and fries and watch football.

Maybe it’s in our genes.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
Women will share a gallon of ice cream while watching reruns of Sex and the City. Guys will eat wings and fries and watch football.

Maybe it’s in our genes.[/quote]

Hell, I’ll watch Sex and the City reruns if it gets me a gallon of ice cream.

By and large women will tend to crave sweet foods like chocolate and ice cream and men more savoury foods like fries and burgers, that trend is seen time and time again.

In both sexes craving fatty foods often comes about as a response to stress, and that’s been seen in experiments with animals too - rats that have been exposed to chronic stress will favour high-kilojoule food if it’s available.

But “crave” foods will always essentially have the same things in them: fat, sugar and/ or salt.

There’s ideas and hyoptheses as to why men and women crave different things, but nothing has been conclusively proven. Many women will have cravings for chocolate when they’re premenstrual, when oestrogen and serotonin are at lower levels than normal. Chocolate has been shown to boost serotonin, so that’s one suggestion that’s been put forward.

Another is that men will favour protein-rich foods like burgers and steaks because of their natural tendency to have higher LBM ratios than women - they need the protein to sustain their muscle mass.

But most of this is really just conjecture. Personally, I like the best of both worlds - burger for mains + an ice cream dessert. Perfect!