Eating speed can affect changes in obesity, body mass index, and waist circumference in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online February 12 in BMJ Open. By contrast, around 30% of the people who ate at a normal speed and 45% of fast-eaters had the condition.
Compared with people who eat quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29 per cent less likely to be obese, rising to 42 per cent for those who ate slowly.
Although the study speculates there is an association with eating speed and obesity, it does not prove that eating speed either causes or prevents obesity.
"Interventions aimed at altering eating habits, such as education initiatives and programmes to reduce eating speed, may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases", the authors wrote. Changes in eating habits were strongly associated with lower obesity and weight, and smaller weight circumference. Type II diabetes commonly plagues overweight people.
Their weight was also assessed using their body mass index (BMI) score and their waist circumference was measured. This means you'll eat more food, falsely believing you aren't full yet.
The study participants were asked about their dietary and sleep habits, as well as alcohol and tobacco consumption.
The data of the claims comprised information on the dates of consultations and therapies, and the check-ups incorporated the measurements of BMI and waist circumference, and results of blood tests, urine tests and tests for liver function. These participants were grouped into these three groups depending on their own analysis of their eating speed.
Around half of the total sample (just under 52%) changed their eating speed over the course of the six years.
So, the conclusion of the study is that we need to keep in mind to eat slower and not to eat just before bedtime.
Snacking after dinner and eating within two hours of going to bed three or more times a week were also linked to a higher risk of being overweight. Whether people regularly ate or skipped breakfast did not seem to have an effect on change in BMI. 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. Also, there was no data about the quantity of food the participants ate or about whether they exercised or not.
The results correspond with other studies, which suggest that some people who tend to eat at a faster pace will gain more weigh and gain weigh over time.
The study associated skipping breakfast with obesity and excess weight, also confirming previous studies on the importance of breakfast for people who want to lose weight.