Slow and steady slims the waist.
A new study claims that eating more consciously could assist lose weight, while those who wolf down their meals are more likely to become obese.
“Changes in eating speed can affect changes in obesity, BMI and waist circumference,” a research duo from Japan’s Kyushu University wrote in the journal BMJ Open.
“Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks.”
The study involved nearly 60,000 Japanese people, and the results displayed that the slow-eating group had a smaller average waist circumference, a mean body-mass index of 22.3 and fewer obese personals.
By comparison, more than 44 % of the fast-eating group was obese, with a mean BMI of 25.
The World Health Organization considers someone with a BMI of 25 to be overweight and 30 or higher to be obese.
“The main results indicated that decreases in eating speeds can lead to reductions in obesity and BMI,” they found.
The research also found that “changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference.”
The study’s overall subjects were 59,717 individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes — a chronic condition that affects those in adulthood who are overweight.
Eating speed and other behavior were self-reported in the study.
Simon Cork, of Imperial College London, told Agence France-Presse that the study “confirms what we already trust: that eating slowly is associated with less weight gain than eating rapidly.”
Referring to the study’s techniques, 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.
In addition, there was no data on how much participants actually ate or whether they exercised during the trial.
The research also pointed to other factors that could help people lose weight — including stopping those after-dinner snacks and not eating for at least two hours before going to bed.
Skipping breakfast, however, did not seem to have any effect.