Obesity, women and immediate gratification

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 1, 2008

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When given the option of receiving $25,000 now or $50,000 months or years later, women with a body mass index higher than 30 are more likely than those who are of a normal weight to opt for having the smaller amount sooner, according to a study in the November Appetite. No difference was found between obese and normal-weight men.

"The finding ... may be tapping into a trait that is a factor leading to development of obesity in women," wrote authors from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Researchers administered a questionnaire including various hypothetical situations to 95 men and women. Participants could choose various rewards from $1,000 to $50,000 to be received immediately or up to 10 years later. Obese women tended to be more impulsive, even when differences in IQ and income were taken into account.

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