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Study Finds Weight May Affect Attitudes Towards Exercise

Previous findings have shown that heavier women respond differently than women of normal weight to images of food or eating and now a new study in International Journal of Obesity has found that the same may hold true for images of exercise, The New York Times’ Well blog reports. Researchers used fMRI to analyze activation of brain regions when obese or lean women were shown images of either active or sedentary behavior and asked to imagine they were doing this behavior. They found that when heavy women were shown images of active behavior, areas of the brain associated with reward showed diminished activity while areas of the brain associated with negative emotion lit up. While it is unknown if the negative attitude towards exercise is the reason for the women’s obesity, researchers encourage women to pursue exercises they enjoy.

Read it in The New York Times’ Well blog.

Read the study in International Journal of Obesity.