On the one hand, slow eating gives our bodies time to register a sense of satisfaction and fullness, so we tend to eat less, she said. These people were asked about their eating habits and were made to categorize the speed at which they consumed food.
Pauses targeted at lessening the eating speed may prove effective in preventing obesity and reducing the linked health risks.
That's the outcome of a study in the journal BMJ Open, which scrutinised the health insurance data of almost 60,000 Japanese people who were quizzed about their health and lifestyle habits over a six-year period.
People were offered annual health checks, but as they entered the study at different stages after their diabetes diagnosis, most did not have 6 sets of results.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index, a ratio of weight-to-height used to determine whether a person falls within a healthy range. Past studies have found that fast-eaters are more likely to get fat, get sick with the metabolic syndrome, and be diagnosed with acid reflux.
During the check-ups, participants were quizzed about their lifestyle, including their eating and sleeping habits, as well as alcohol and tobacco use. Blood and urine tests and liver function were also taken.
In addition, slow eaters tended to be healthier and to have a healthier lifestyle than those who ate quickly or at a normal speed. These participants were grouped into these three groups depending on their own analysis of their eating speed.
Eating speed and other behavior were self-reported in the study. Only about 4,190 were self-professed slow eaters.
Other factors that could assist in losing weight, as per the data, includes not eating within two hours of going to bed and no snacking after dinner. People who eat faster, skip breakfast, and eat midnight snacks have higher obesity risk. The researchers wanted to see if eating speed and some other eating behaviours, such as snacking after dinner, affected obesity.
What's more it relied on the participants revealing the pace they ate, rather than actually scientifically measuring the speed.
Compared with people who eat quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29 per cent less likely to be obese, rising to 42 per cent for those who ate slowly. According to him, "it is probably due to the signals sent by the digestive system that communicates to the brain that we are satiated in time to limit the amount ingested". Therefore fast eaters would have gobbled down their food well after they have had enough.