Eat slowly! That’s the secret to stay fit

Who eats slowly, savouring every bite and taking time to eat meals, can count on a 42% reduction in obesity risk compared to those who consume food too quickly.

A study published in the BMJ was made on the subject and lasted six years, from 2008 to 2013. Thanks to 60 thousand people, including men and women from Japan.
The authors, the researchers of the Department of Health Care Administration and Management of the University of Kyushu, in Japan, have collected information on lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, sleep), on eating habits (doing breakfast or not, spicing snacks, mealtimes), on the body mass index (BMI) and on the abdominal circumference of each participant in the survey. In addition to data on blood, urine and liver function tests.

Everyone was also asked to describe how quickly they consumed meals and, based on the answers, the sample was divided into slow eaters (more than 4 thousand at the beginning of the study), normal (over 33 thousand) and fast (about 22 thousand), with the first ones that in the beginning were those who tended to be healthier.
During the research almost half of the sample changed his habits.

But what are the results of six years of observations? Slow eaters were 42% less likely to be overweight, or obese, than those who tended to gorge.
On the other hand, for those who used to eat at a normal speed, the risk of being overweight was 29% lower.
Eating too quickly has also been linked to reduced glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

“Changing eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and abdominal circumference – conclude the authors of the study – and interventions aimed at reducing the speed of food intake can be effective in preventing obesity and reducing risks for associated health“.

But the excessive speed of meals is not the only behaviour to negatively influence the risk of obesity: among the habits, under the lens of the Japanese, was strongly associated to a high BMI, having late dinners (within the two hours before sleep) and consume snacks after dinner for at least 3 times a week.


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