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Fullness Boosts Romantic Feelings in Women

Update Date: Aug 13, 2015 11:44 PM EDT

A full stomach increases the chance of falling in love, according to a new study.

Researchers found that female brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach.

The latest study compared brain scans of past-dieters to those who have never dieted.

"We found that young women both with and without a history of dieting had greater brain activation in response to romantic pictures in reward-related neural regions after having eaten than when hungry," first author Alice Ely of Drexel University, said in a news release.

"In this case, they were more responsive when fed," she said. "This data suggests that eating may prime or sensitize young women to rewards beyond food. It also supports a shared neurocircuitry for food and sex."

"Based on this study, we hypothesized that historical dieters are differentially sensitive -- after eating -- to rewards in general, so we tested this perception by comparing the same groups' brain activation when viewing romantic pictures compared to neutral stimuli in a fasted and fed state," she added.

The latest findings go against previous studies, which showed that people show greater sensitivity to rewards like food, money and drugs when hungry.

The findings were published in the journal Appetite.

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