Snack Slowly: Study Suggests Leisurely Eating Contributes to Weight Loss

14 February, 2018, 17:57 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Weight loss

Slow eating along with avoiding late meals before bed could be the key to losing weight, a new study suggests. Compared to fast eaters, the odds ratio for being obese was 0.58 for slow eaters and 0.71 for normal-speed eaters.

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.

Researchers analysing data on almost 60,000 people found that slow eaters were 42 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese than fast eaters, while those who ate at a normal speed had a 29 per cent lower risk.

A new study suggests that eating slowly can lower the risk of becoming obese, while keeping your Body Mass Index (BMI) in a healthy range.

The results revealed that compared with those who eat quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese, rising to 42% of those who ate their food slowly.

Referring to the study's methods, however, he warned that relying on the participants themselves to score whether they eat slowly or quickly was "considerably subjective" and may skew the data.

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Snacking after dinner and eating within two hours of going to sleep three or more times a week were linked to a higher risk of being overweight, but skipping breakfast was not. This includes not skipping breakfast and limiting evening snacks.

Pauses targeted at lessening the eating speed may prove effective in preventing obesity and reducing the linked health risks. The study linked changing behaviours, including eating speed, to a lower chance of obesity and a shrinking waistline. People who chose to eat slower to lose weight, started losing weight during the study.

One of the main limitations of the study is that eating speed and other behaviors were reported by the participants and are therefore prone to subjectivity.

But most importantly, those who slowed down while they ate tended to lose weight, according to researchers. Those who said they eat slowly fared even better. 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.

The participants had regular check-ups from 2008 to 2013. "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. This may be due to the fact that the satiety signal takes some time to travel from the stomach to the brain, and may arrive only after the fast eater has already consumed more than enough.

Katarina Kos, an obesity researcher at Exeter Medical School, also commented on the study, stating that similar research needs to be conducted among non-diabetics in order to eliminate the effect of diabetes medication on weight loss or gain.

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