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Chewing slowly is a successful weight-loss strategy say experts

23rd Feb 2018

Researchers from Kyushu University in Japan suggest eating too quickly increases the risk of becoming overweight.

A study of 60,000 people (for 6 years) found those who ate slowly were 42 percent less likely to be overweight than fast eaters. And fast eaters had waist sizes a quarter of an inch larger than slow eaters.

The research, published in the journal BMJ Open, also found eating evening meals at least two hours before going to bed cut the risk of being overweight by 10 percent.

This is because it takes some time – roughly 20 minutes – for the brain to receive the message that the stomach is full. So fast eaters keep on eating their food well after they have had enough food.

The researchers wrote: “Fast eaters may continue to eat until they feel full despite having already consumed an adequate amount of calories and the combined effect of eating quickly and overeating may contribute to weight gain. In contrast, eating slowly may help to increase feelings of satiety before an excessive amount of food is ingested.”

The researchers found that only 4,192 (6.9 percent) of the 60,000 participants classed themselves as slow eaters. Experts believe chewing slowly could be a successful weight-loss strategy

They wrote: “Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks.”

The team also found people who ate their evening meal at least two hours before they went to bed three times a week were 10 percent less likely to be overweight, which they defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25. But skipping breakfast does nothing to decrease weight.

Metabolism decreased the end of the day, so eating too late means calories are not burned off.

A previous study, by experts at North Carolina State University in the US, found ‘mindful eating’ – savouring every mouthful, concentrating on flavour and ‘eating with a purpose’ – helps people lose six times as much weight as other slimmers.

The researchers behind that project encouraged people to remove all distractions while eating, including turning off the television and not eating lunch at their desk.

Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “People see lunch as a quick meal that can be stuffed down.

“Not only are they likely to be eating unhealthy processed foods, they are also likely to be eating too much of it.”

Elham Asaad Buaras

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