Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Eating Slowly Tied to Lower BMI and Obesity Risk

Eating Slowly Tied to Lower BMI and Obesity Risk

According to the researchers from Kyushu University in Japan, chewing slowly and refraining from eating for two hours before bedtime may help cut down on weight.

Researchers analysing data on almost 60,000 people found that slow eaters were 42 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese than fast eaters, while those who ate at a normal speed had a 29 per cent lower risk.

These adjustments are linked with lower obesity and weight (BMI), and smaller waist circumference. The data in this study is based on observed behaviors that had happened in the past, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about whether eating speed is a cause of obesity.

The researchers found that of the 60,000 participants, 22,070 people routinely wolfed down their food, 33,455 ate at a normal speed, and 4,192 classed themselves as slow eaters.

The team also noted changes in eating speed over the six years, with more than half the trial group reporting an adjustment in one direction or the other.

After taking account of potentially influential factors, the results showed that, compared with people who eat quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29 per cent less likely to be obese, rising to 42 per cent for those who ate slowly. More than 59,000 Japanese men and women took part in the study, and they were asked to rate their own eating speed as fast, normal or slow.

No sleep loss, not skipping breakfast and not eating dinner two hours before bed were all associated with a lower BMI. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, did not seem to have any effect on BMI and weight.

"Changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference", the researchers wrote.

They interviewed nearly 60,000 type 2 diabetes patients about their eating habits and then analyzed the data. While that's great news for people who spend ages eating their food, it's worrying for people who enjoy a bit of a midnight snack, at speed, while sitting in front of the TV of an evening.

Adults with type 2 diabetes who reported "fast" eating speeds had a higher risk for obesity than those who reported eating at "normal" or "slow" speeds.

And back in January it was revealed that tucking into bacon and eggs for breakfast could also help you lose weight, thanks to the fact that high-protein breakfasts (such as eggs) help to control eating later in the day. There was also no data on how much participants ate, or whether they exercised or not. "The quicker you eat, the less time the signals have to get to your brain". Commenting on the research, Simon Cork of Imperial College London said it "confirms what we already believe, that eating slowly is associated with less weight gain than eating quickly".

'It takes fast eaters longer to feel full simply because they don't allow time for the gut hormones to tell the brain to stop eating.

Katarina Kos-an obesity researcher-Exeter Medical School said that similar research needs to be conducted in non-diabetic people for learning the potential of the diabetes medication in weight loss or gain.

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