Slower eating speed can help prevent obesity. A new study published in the online journal BMJ Open suggests that eating slowly were linked to lower obesity rates and smaller waistlines.
Specifically, three behaviors— eating more slowly, not eating within two hours before going to bed, and cutting out after-dinner snacks were all linked to weight loss.
A research team in Japan tracked nearly 60,000 people to discover their eating speed of evening meal and snacks. They looked at Japanese men and women with type 2 diabetes and asked them to rate their own eating speed as fast, normal or slow. The participants were asked whether they snacked after dinner three times or more a week, whether they regularly skipped breakfast. The team also asked about their alcohol and tobacco use.
The researchers found that slower eating speeds were linked to obesity reductions. Eating speed is an independent factor in weight and body mass index measures. They suggest that controlling eating speed can regulate body weight and help to prevent obesity.
“The speed at which a lot of people wolf down their food is undeniably a contributor to obesity. 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. Eating quickly also causes bigger blood sugar fluctuations which can lead to insulin resistance,” said Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum.
The authors of the study conclude that slower eating speed can help prevent obesity and lower the many health risks, like diabetes, that come with it.