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Little is known about the relationship between weight status and reward-related brain activity in normal weight humans. We correlated orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex activity as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging with body mass index in 13 healthy, normal-weight adult women as they viewed images of high-calorie and low-calorie foods, and dining-related utensils. Body mass index correlated negatively with both cingulate and orbitofrontal activity during high-calorie viewing, negatively with orbitofrontal activity during low-calorie viewing, and positively with orbitofrontal activity during presentations of nonedible utensils. With greater body mass, activity was reduced in brain regions important for evaluating and modifying learned stimulus-reward associations, suggesting a relationship between weight status and responsiveness of the orbitofrontal cortex to rewarding food images.

(C) 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.