Slow Eating May Reduce Obesity Risk, Study Says

Woman eating chocolate

Snack Slowly Study Suggests Leisurely Eating Contributes to Weight Loss Flickr Andy Rennie

Those who eat slower tend to lose weight faster, according to a Japanese study published on February 12, 2018 in the journal "BMJ Open".

Also, the terms "fast", "normal" and "slow" were used by the participants of this study just as a self-evaluation, without a strict definition of the eating speeds, and without timing the participants while eating.

The research findings are based on health insurance data for almost 60,000 people with diabetes in Japan, who had submitted claims and had routine health check-ups between 2008 and 2013.

And although absolute reductions in waist circumference-an indicator of a potentially harmful midriff bulge-were small, they were greater among the slow and normal speed eaters.

Only 171 people (0.29% of quick eaters) changed from fast eating at the start of the study to slow eating at the end, and 92 people (0.15% of slow eaters) changed from being slow eaters to quick eaters.

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Their weight was also assessed using their body mass index (BMI) score and their waist circumference was measured.

What's more, researchers also found eating evening meals at least two hours before going to bed three times a week cut the risk of being overweight by 10 per cent.

It was an observational study, rather than a study where participants are getting assigned in random groups and requested to eat at different rates.

"That said, speed eating appears to be far more deleterious", Heller said. The findings for slow eaters were even more striking: those who said they ate slowly were 42 percent less likely to be obese.

So if you're looking to shift a few extra pounds time to readjust your eating habits so you're eating bacon and eggs, slowly, while standing at your desk! "Practices that impose some mindfulness and discipline on eating may help with both losing weight and staying healthy", Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn., who had no part in the study, told Health Day. "In America, speed eating takes the lead".

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People who ate at a normal speed were around 29% less likely to be obese than a fast eater.

They believe that fast eaters weigh in higher than their slow counterparts as it takes around 20 minutes for the brain to receive the message is the stomach is full.

But, eating slowly may very well play a role in curbing obesity, said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn. So, if you are trying to lose weight by eating less, or to control the calories you eat to maintain a healthy body weight, eating more slowly may help.

The study did not measure how much people ate, so we don't know if people who ate more slowly were eating fewer calories than those who ate quickly.

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