For men, food is basically nutrition. For women, it is an all encompassing obsession with which they have an extremely complicated love/hate relationship.
A man's favorite meal is generally a steak. Or if he's feeling expansive, maybe surf and turf. (The sides don't really matter.) Women tend to prefer carbohydrate-heavy foods: French bread, pasta, cakes, etc.
Therein lies the problem. Carbohydrate-rich foods tend to add weight; steaks do not.
You almost never hear of men who become anorexic, or bulimic. (Interestingly, these diseases are extremely rare among blacks and Asians as well.)
Some of this is explainable by evolution, some is not. Men are visual creatures, and judge women mostly on the basis of their looks. For women, a man's looks are not quite so paramount. Therefore it is only natural that women would be more concerned with their appearance. But it's hard to believe that during most of the four million years of human evolution, it was an adaptive behavior to to stick your finger down your throat and throw up after a meal.
In the hunting and gathering era there were no refrigerators and preservatives, so overeating was generally not a problem. And people hadn't learned to refine sugar, either, so diabetes wasn't a problem, and either. When we had the opportunity, the smart thing to do was binge, for who knew when the next meal was coming?
There were also no modeling agencies. And if you did happen to get fat, there were no mirrors, so as far as you were concerned, the extra fat didn't reflect poorly on you.
But now, in the age of Wilhemina and ever present mirrors, some of the instincts acquired during those prehistoric years have more self destructive results.
A man is just as likely as a woman to take that first Dorito, intending to have only a few, and end up finishing the entire bag. But the aftereffect tends to differ. His reaction will be something along the lines of, "Ugh, I didn't mean to do that." Her reaction will be, "Oh my God! What have I done to myself?! I hate myself! I need to throw up right now!"
Men don't count calories, or join Weight Watchers, or buy diet books. Weight Watchers spokesmen are never men.
You never hear a man say, "I'm eating my feelings away." And you never hear a father admonish his son, "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."
Men generally don't cook, and for those who do, it's not a great sacramental rite.
And women are never proud of their beer bellies. (Back in my youth, there were actually guys who would proudly point out their bellies, as if to say, look what a badass I am!)
Al Qaeda has traditionally recruited suicide bombers by telling them that 72 virgins await them in paradise. Now that there are women suicide bombers (hurrah for feminism!), it's less clear how they are recruited. (The idea of 72 male virgins seems somehow less appealing.)
Perhaps al Qaeda promises women that Paradise is where they can have endless helpings of hummus, baba ghanoush, and baklava, without ever getting fat.