Eating Slowly helps you to lose weight and Prevent Obesity

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New findings reveal that fast eaters could lose weight by simply taking longer to chew their food and pausing between bites instead of gobbling their entire meal up quickly.

The key to weight loss could be slowing down and enjoying your food, a new study claims.

It is to be noted that the study did not conclude that the speed of eating prevented obesity, only that they are linked. "Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks", the researchers added.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of weight-to-height which is used for learning whether a person is within the healthy range category or not.

From left: Obese people in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Manchester.

After analyzing all influential factors, the researchers found that compared to people who indulge in fast eating, people with normal eating speeds were 29% less likely to be obese, and slow eaters were 42% less likely. The World Health Organization (WHO) has demarcated the BMI 25 as overweight and 30 or above as obese.

The study's overall subjects were 59,717 individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes - a chronic condition that affects those in adulthood who are overweight.

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The participants had regular check-ups from 2008 to 2013. Participants agreed to answer questions on their diets, lifestyle choices, snack habits, frequency of breakfast in a week, and eating speed.

By comparison, more than 44 per cent of the fast-eating group of 22,070 people, was obese, with a mean BMI of 25. Around 52% of the total sample changed their eating speed over the six year study.

Using a generalized estimating equation model, the researchers found that eating slower inhibited the development of obesity. And they were asked whether they did any of the following three or more times a week: eat dinner within two hours of going to sleep; snack after dinner; and skip breakfast.

"Skipping breakfast has also been shown to be associated with excess weight and obesity, and is a risk factor of metabolic syndrome", the authors wrote in their study. The researchers wanted to see if eating speed and some other eating behaviours, such as snacking after dinner, affected obesity.

In addition, there was no data on how much participants actually ate or whether they exercised during the trial.

Simon Cork-Imperial College of London while commenting on the research said the research confirms what we already believe in that eating slowly leads to less weight gain in comparison to eating at a quicker pace. The connection between eating speed and weight gain is said to be due to the satiety hormones, which make the body feel fuller when eating slowly compared to eating the same amount of food quickly.

Slow eaters also tended to be healthier, and to have healthier habits, than their faster-eating peers.

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