Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Eat Slowly to Lost Weight-Study Suggests

Eat Slowly to Lost Weight-Study Suggests

And while many studies have suggested that skipping breakfast could make it harder to lose weight, the research found that it wasn't as likely to impact changes in BMI as having a snack after dinner and within two hours of going to sleep.

At regular checkups over six years, clinicians measured their weight and waist circumference and tested their blood, urine and liver function.

The limitations of the study are that eating speed and other behaviours of the people were self-reported.

Each person was quizzed on their eating speeds, telling the researchers whether they either ate at a fast, normal, or slow speed.

The team also noted changes in eating speed over the six years, with more than half the trial group reporting an adjustment in one direction or the other. The results suggested that the slow-eaters tended to be healthier and to have a healthier lifestyle than either the fast or normal speed eaters.

A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal reported that nearly a third of Irish children are now overweight and the country ranks 58th out of 200 countries for its proportion of overweight youths.

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Decreases in BMI were significantly associated with normal or slow eating speed, avoiding eating dinner within 2 hours before sleeping at least three times per week, avoiding snacking after dinner at least three times per week, and only occasionally or never consuming alcohol (P .001 for all). Skipping breakfast did not seem to have any effect.

A research duo of the Kyushu University-Japan, wrote in the BMJ Open journal that altering the eating speed could affect the changes in obesity, waist circumference and BMI.

"Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks", they added.

The research findings are based on health insurance data for almost 60,000 people with diabetes in Japan, who had submitted claims and had routine health check-ups between 2008 and 2013. Waist circumference was found to be directly proportional to eating speed as well.

What's more it relied on the participants revealing the pace they ate, rather than actually scientifically measuring the speed. Only about 4,190 were self-professed slow eaters.

However, they cautioned that people who took part in the study were "relatively health-conscious individuals" who voluntarily participated in health check-ups, so the findings may have "limited applicability to less health-conscious people". "It's an interesting study, [which] confirms what we already think, that eating slowly is causing less weight gain than eating quickly", said Simon Cork, from Imperial College London. 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. Only 21.5 percent of participants in a self-defined slow eating group were obese, compared with more than 44 percent of a self-defined fast-eating group, Channel News Asia explained. "The quicker you eat, the less time the signals have to get to your brain".

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