Researchers from universities in Japan recently conducted an experiment to determine if eating speed can be linked to obesity or metabolic syndrome, a cluster of heart disease, diabetes and stroke risk factors.
To do so, researchers evaluated 642 men and 441 women, around age 50, who did not have metabolic syndrome in 2008. They then divided the participants into three groups based on their usual eating speed: slow, normal or fast.
After five years, they found that those who ate fast were 11.6 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome. Normal eaters were 6.5 percent more likely, and slow eaters were 2.3 percent more likely. They were also able to associate fast eating with more weight gain, higher blood glucose and larger waistline.
Why is that?
“Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome,” lead author Takayuki Yamaji said in a statement. “When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat. Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance. We also believe our research would apply to a U.S. population.”