Eating Slowly helps you to lose weight and Prevent Obesity

Eating Slowly helps you to lose weight and Prevent Obesity

The researchers behind that project encouraged people to remove all distractions while eating, including turning off the television at dinner time and not eating lunch at their desk. They tracked lifestyle habits including eating speed, alcohol consumption and after-dinner snacking. It is also considered important dietary advice to not eat after the evening meal, or in the two hours before bedtime.

The new study, published in the journal BMJ Open, saw experts analyse health insurance data from 60,000 people in Japan who had regular health check-ups between 2008 and 2013.

Slow eaters also tended to be healthier, and to have healthier habits, than their faster-eating peers. Therefore fast eaters would have gobbled down their food well after they have had enough.

"It may encourage a more reflective eating style and reduce the risk of overconsumption, ' said Jebb, who was not involved in the Kyushu study, in a comment to the Science Media Centre".

For Susan Jeb, Professor of Dietetics at Oxford, "the problem that remains" is how to effectively instill the habit of eating slowly.

At the beginning of the study, 22,070 people indulged in speed eating; 33,455 people had a normal eating speed; and 4192 ate slowly. After eliminating any factors that might influence a person's risk for obesity, the authors found that people who ate at a normal speed were 29 percent less likely to be obese, while the slowest eaters saw a 42 percent risk reduction. More than 59,000 Japanese men and women took part in the study, and they were asked to rate their own eating speed as fast, normal or slow. 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.

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This is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, added to which eating speed was based on subjective assessment, nor did the researchers assess energy intake or physical activity levels, both of which may have been influential.

A previous study, by experts at North Carolina State University in the U.S., found "mindful eating" - savouring every mouthful, concentrating on flavour and "eating with purpose" - helped people lose six times as much weight as other slimmers.

Crowley notes that the study uses the Japanese standard of obesity, which is a BMI greater than 25.

The World Health Organization considers someone with a BMI of 25 to be overweight and 30 or higher to be obese.

"Changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference", the researchers wrote. "It is certainly not appropriate to extrapolate from these observations to conclude about eating speed and the development of obesity - however attractive the idea that fast eaters are likely to eat more, and that eating more leads to weight gain", he told The Guardian. "In contrast, eating slowly may help to increase feelings of satiety before an excessive amount of food is ingested".

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