It’s all in the timing — and that includes how quickly you scarf down your meals.
Eating slowly may help you lose weight and bring other health bonuses, according to a new study.
“Changes in eating speed can affect changes in obesity, BMI and waist circumference,” said lead author Haruhisa Fukuda, of Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Japan.
“Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks,” Fukuda added.
Researchers reached conclusions after analyzing health and insurance data of 60,000 subjects with type 2 diabetes. Subjects had regular checkups over a period of six years from 2008 to 2013.
Investigators factored in the participants’ age and gender, blood pressure, eating speed, alcohol consumption, tobacco use and snacking habits.
Data analysis revealed that 21% of people who described themselves as slow eaters were obese, compared to 30% of normal-speed eaters and 45% of fast eaters. Waist size and BMI — body mass index, a ratio of weight-to-height and a measure of health — went up as eating speed increases.
The authors acknowledge that their study has limitations. Eating speed was self-reported and subjective, and only people with type 2 diabetes were included. But the researchers believe the results could still be useful for developing weight-related interventions.
The new research, published in the journal BMJ Open, joins other studies supporting the idea that gobbling your food could make you fat. That includes an obesity report by the American Heart Association in 2017 supporting an eat slow, lose weight formula.
Eating slowly has other benefits, including better digestion and meal satisfaction.