Eat slowly, avoid meals two hours before bedtime to stay slim, study finds
Eating slowly could be the key to losing weight, with people who take time over their meals less likely to become obese, a new study shows.Cutting out after-dinner snacks and avoiding eating two hours before bedtime are also linked to people shedding the kilos (pounds), researchers found.
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.
And when compared with fast eaters, normal-speed eaters and slow eaters had reductions in waist circumference of 0.21cm and 0.41cm respectively, the authors found.
Dr. Haruhisa Fukuda, of Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Fukuoka, Japan, said: “Changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI, and waist circumference.“Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks.”
The new study, published in the journal BMJ Open, saw experts analyse health insurance data from 60,000 people in Japan who had regular health check-ups between 2008 and 2013. Participants were asked about the speed they ate food – fast, normal or slow – and other lifestyle habits including eating dinner within two hours of sleeping, after-dinner snacking and skipping breakfast.
Their weight was assessed using their body mass index (BMI) score and their waist circumference was also measured. In the study, obesity was defined as having a BMI score of over 25 – in the United Kingdom (UK) people are deemed to be overweight with a BMI score of over 25 and obese if they have a score of over 30.
The Japanese researchers found that at the start of the study, 22,070 people routinely wolfed down their food, 33,455 ate at a normal speed, and 4,192 classed themselves as slow eaters.
Just over half of participants changed their eating speed over the course of the study.As well as the findings on fast eaters, snacking after dinner and eating within two hours of going to sleep three or more times a week were also linked to a higher risk of being overweight. But skipping breakfast was not.
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