Belly fat, why women have a harder time losing it

BALTIMORE - Ladies, have you ever wondered why it seems so much easier for guys to lose weight?

Now there may be some answers.

Scientists have uncovered something new that could explain why women collect more stubborn belly fat.

To get into shape, Tammy and Chris Garner started working out as a couple a few months ago.

They've both managed to drop some weight, but Tammy says it's been much harder for her, than him.

Tammy says, "You have to work extremely hard, sometimes more than you want to, as opposed to your husband who stops eating two cheeseburgers and, he loses 10 pounds."

It's a frustrating reality for women, as they get older, it gets harder to lose weight especially around the midsection.

And now researchers at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center may know why.

Scientists have discovered a certain enzyme in mice linked to high fat diets and the hormone estrogen.

Humans have the same enzyme, but it appears to be more prevalent in women than men, if both are eating lots of fat.

Dr. Ouliana Ziouzenkova says, "On high fat diets, it could be increased as high as 9 fold - in females only, but not in the male."

And the older a woman gets, the worse it gets, because women store fat differently as they age.

Scientists say in young women, estrogen appears to help burn fat more efficiently.

But as women get older, estrogen levels drop.

When they do, this enzyme is more active and more likely to help create visceral fat - or the fat that gathers around the midsection, even on a regular diet.

Dr. Ziouzenkova says,"While males are prone to visceral obesity throughout their lives, in females, it's not the case. It's very estrogen dependent and also food-quality dependent."

In other words, not only is belly fat harder to lose for women, but they must eat healthier to avoid it in the first place.

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