Eat slower, lose weight

Frederick Owens
February 14, 2018

This is possibly because it may take longer for fast eaters to feel full, whereas this might happen more quickly for slow eaters, helping to curb their calorie intake, the researchers suggest.

Upon their first checkups, the researchers found the small minority that ate slowly tended to show healthier lifestyles than those who ate fast or at normal speeds.

Scientists studied medical records from the years 2008 until 2013 of 59,717 people with type 2 diabetes, a disease that often results from a being overweight.

The data used in the research included information on the dates of consultations and treatments, while the check-ups included measurements of weight (BMI) and waist circumference and the results of tests for blood chemistry, urine and liver function.

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.

During the study period, 51.9% of participants changed their eating speed from baseline; 0.29% switched from being fast eaters to slow eaters, and 0.15% changed from being slow eaters to fast eaters. They also say that eating dinner more than 2 hours before sleeping, not snacking after dinner and always having breakfast may also help weight loss. But skipping breakfast was not. Similarly, eating slower was associated with reduced body mass index and waist circumference in a fixed-effects model. Just over half of participants changed their eating speed over the course of the study.

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According to the study in the Journal BMJ Open, those who eat slow give their bodies time to register that it's eaten something.

The study was carried out by researchers from Kyushu University in Japan, with funding from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan.

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. Past studies have found that fast-eaters are more likely to get fat, get sick with the metabolic syndrome, and be diagnosed with acid reflux. This is likely due to the signals that originate in the gut communicating to the brain that you're full in time to reduce the amount being eaten. Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "Eating more slowly means we tend..."

Observational studies can demonstrate links between factors such as eating speed and obesity, but they cannot prove that one factor (such as eating quickly) directly causes another (such as obesity).

'In particular, workers who snatch their lunch at the desk are doing their health no favours. "It is certainly not appropriate to extrapolate from these observations to conclude about eating speed and the development of obesity - however attractive the idea that fast eaters are likely to eat more, and that eating more leads to weight gain", he told The Guardian.

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