Why Do Women Gain Weight More than Men? (on Depakote...)

This has certainly been my observation with patients.  Now there is some lab data to support it.  Studying artificially induced metabolic syndrome, a research team recently reported in Science:  

"Both males and females exhibited obesity on a high fat diet" but "only the females .... exhibited an increase in body weight on a normal .... diet." Kahn

This finding is crucial, do you see?  The females gained weight on a normal diet.  This is just like my patients who say they are gaining weight all of a sudden for no reason -- no change in diet, no decrease in exercise.  These results suggest that if the metabolic syndrome is somehow triggered, boom, there goes your weight.

Now, if you have seen the article, you'll notice I cheated.  For emphasis, I deleted the fact that these were mice, not humans.  But for the moment, those are the kind of data we have to go on. 

You will also have noticed that males were not subject to the weight gain unless they were eating a high fat diet.  So, we could conclude for now, on the basis of this limited information, that men who take medications which can induce weight gain should not eat high fat diets.  For women, though, such a recommendation may not be enough.