Eating quickly might favor weight gain, study suggests

Eating quickly might favor weight gain, study suggests

Although reductions in waist size - a sign of a potentially harmful midriff bulge - were small, they were greater among those who ate slowly or at normal speed, the study found. Similarly, eating slower was associated with reduced body mass index and waist circumference in a fixed-effects model. Next, the participants answered a set of questions about their eating speed ('fast", "normal' and "slow'), whether they had dinner within 2 hours of sleeping, but also habits concerning after-dinner snacking, skipping breakfast, alcohol consumption frequency, sleep adequacy and tobacco consumption".

And they conclude, "Changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI, and waist circumference".

The World Health Organization considers someone with a BMI of 25 to be overweight and 30 or higher to be obese.

The study, which surveyed almost 60,000 people, shows a link between the speed at which participants say they eat their meal and weight change. For example, people who practice eating late at night could risk having metabolic syndrome and obesity, while people who eat several hours before they go to sleep don't as much. But skipping breakfast was not.

Compared to those who wolfed down their food quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese. "Our model revealed that consistently eating breakfast can reduce obesity, which also corroborates the findings of previous studies".

'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. "People who speed eat, as many of us do, scarf down far more calories than they need".

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By comparison, more than 44 per cent of the fast-eating group of 22,070 people, was obese, with a mean BMI of 25. More calories result in weight gain.

But he said that relying on the participants themselves to score whether they eat slowly, or fast, was "considerably subjective" and may skew the data.

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! "Those who naturally eat slowly may be attending to their body's cues for fullness, and eat a more appropriate portion during each eating occasion", Nina Crowley, Ph.D., a registered dietitian nutritionist and health psychologist working at the Medical University of SC, told CBS News.

Jebb said that while there's little definitive proof that slowing your eating speed has a direct impact on your weight, it's unlikely to hurt. It also suggested that slow and normal eaters were more likely to have a smaller stomach circumference.

Pauses targeted at lessening the eating speed may prove effective in preventing obesity and reducing the linked health risks.

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