Linger over lunch to lose weight

The research concluded that fast eaters are 29 per cent less likely to be obese, when factors like sleeping habits, BMI and alcohol consumption were considered.

At the end of the six years, the slowest eaters were the least likely to be rated obese as defined by their BMIs, while those who reduced their eating speed also reduced their weight (their BMIs dropped, and their waist circumferences shrank).

"Changes in eating speed can affect changes in obesity, BMI and waist circumference".

Study authors Haruhisa Fukuda and Yumi Hurst of Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Fukuoka, Japan, confirm this hypothesis in their paper published in the journal BMJ Open.

Researchers analysing data on almost 60,000 people found that slow eaters were 42 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese than fast eaters, while those who ate at a normal speed had a 29 per cent lower risk.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of weight-to-height which is used for learning whether a person is within the healthy range category or not. They were specifically questioned about their speed of eating, which was classified as slow, normal or fast.

The researchers found that of the 60,000 participants, 22,070 people routinely wolfed down their food, 33,455 ate at a normal speed, and 4,192 classed themselves as slow eaters. For example, people who practice eating late at night could risk having metabolic syndrome and obesity, while people who eat several hours before they go to sleep don't as much.

Skipping breakfast did not have any apparent effects. By contrast, around 30% of the people who ate at a normal speed and 45% of fast-eaters had the condition. Possibly because it may take longer for fast eaters to feel full, whereas this may happen more quickly for slow eaters, helping to curb their calorie intake, the researchers suggest.

It was an observational study, rather than a study where participants are getting assigned in random groups and requested to eat at different rates. During the six-year study, the team noticed that changes in eating speed either resulted in increases or decreases in obesity and BMI.

"Interventions aimed at altering eating habits, such as education initiatives and program to reduce eating speed, may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases", the authors write.

People looking to lose weight might try all kinds of ways to eat fewer calories.

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. Next time you consider a weight loss program make sure your brain doesn't hold you back.

New research reveals that the speed of eating also plays a factor in weight gain, as fast eaters have a higher chance of getting fat while slow eaters may lose weight.

'They should stop what they're doing, switch off their phones and emails and preferably take a half hour away from the office altogether'.

  • Santos West