Eating slowly may actually help you lose weight

Eating slowly may actually help you lose weight

In addition, people who eat snacks late at night compared to those who do not eat hours before sleeping were found to have a greater risk of being overweight.

The research also found that "changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference".

Referring to the study's methods, however, he warned that relying on the participants themselves to score whether they eat slowly or quickly was "considerably subjective" and may skew the data.

At the start, more than half of the people said to eat at a "normal" speed while a third admitted to being "fast" eaters and the rest self-identified as "slow" eaters.

A Japanese study released in 2014 that tracked the eating habits of girls over a three-year period also found evidence of a possible connection between eating speeds and weight gain or loss.

A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal reported that nearly a third of Irish children are now overweight and the country ranks 58th out of 200 countries for its proportion of overweight youths.

The researchers also concluded that not snacking after dinner or eating two hours before bed also led to reductions in obesity or BMI. People who eat faster, skip breakfast, and eat midnight snacks have higher obesity risk.

"Changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference", the researchers wrote. "The control of eating speed may therefore be a possible means of regulating body weight and preventing obesity, which in turn reduces the risk of developing non-communicable diseases".

Researchers analysed health insurance data from 60,000 people with diabetes in Japan who had regular health check-ups between 2008 and 2013.

"Eat slowly" sounds simple, but that doesn't mean it's straightforward: Susan Jebb, an Oxford University professor of diet and population health, believes "the outstanding challenge" is figuring out ways to put the advice into practice.

However, they cautioned that people who took part in the study were "relatively health-conscious individuals" who voluntarily participated in health check-ups, so the findings may have "limited applicability to less health-conscious people".

One of those habits was eating speed, ranked on a scale of slow, medium to fast.

It was an observational study, rather than a study where participants are getting assigned in random groups and requested to eat at different rates. 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".

Tam Fry, chairman of the UK's National Obesity Forum, supported the study's findings, telling the Guardian: "The speed at which a lot of people wolf down their food is undeniably a contributor to obesity". This is possibly because it may take longer for fast eaters to feel full, whereas this might happen more quickly for slow eaters, helping to curb their calorie intake, the researchers suggested.

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