Slow eating could stop people putting on weight, study finds

Woman eating French fries

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.

The study relied on people's own reports of how quickly they ate, without defining speed as other than fast, normal or slow. The results showed that slower eating speeds were linked to reductions in obesity, BMI and waist circumference.

The findings were based on health insurance data for almost 60,000 people with diabetes in Japan who submitted claims and had regular health check-ups between 2008 and 2013.

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. The data in this study is based on observed behaviors that had happened in the past, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about whether eating speed is a cause of obesity.

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People who said they don't usually snack after dinner and those who avoiding eating within two hours of bedtime also tended to see some weight loss, the researchers found. But skipping breakfast wasnot. "Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering health risks". The study linked changing behaviours, including eating speed, to a lower chance of obesity and a shrinking waistline.

In a study published in the BMJ Open, researchers analyzed data from nearly 60,000 people in Japan with type 2 diabetes who came in for medical appointments between 2008 and 2013.

The study was carried out by researchers from Kyushu University in Japan, with funding from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. While that's great news for people who spend ages eating their food, it's worrying for people who enjoy a bit of a midnight snack, at speed, while sitting in front of the TV of an evening.

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

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If you tend to be a fast eater, Crowley suggests trying to practice mindful eating, in which you consciously pay attention to each bite of food you put into your mouth and notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

People looking to lose weight might try all kinds of ways to eat fewer calories. Experts say that when we eat quickly, our bodies don't have time to register the hormonal changes that signal when we are full. 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".

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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