Wolfing Down Meals May Lead to Weight Gain and Heart Woes

Henrietta Strickland
November 14, 2017

Research by Japanese scientists has found that people who eat slowly and mindfully are less likely to pile on the pounds or develop metabolic syndrome - the name for a cluster of risky health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity which can damage the heart. Lots of research, she says, has shown that eating fast is associated with weight gain and other health issues.

Researchers found that people in Japan who were fast eaters were more likely to become obese than those who ate at a slower pace, according to the findings, which were presented today (Nov. 13) at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in Anaheim, California.

In the new study, the researchers looked at about 1,100 people in Japan with an average age of 51.

As well as raising the risk of heart disease and diabetes, being too heavy increases chances of liver disease and some types of cancer.

At the beginning of the study, none of them had metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a big predictor of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, but it can be avoided by adjusting your lifestyle and your daily habits - including how fast you eat. They asked them to characterize their eating speed - slow, normal or fast - and tracked their health for the next five years.

Metabolic syndrome involves a number of conditions including high blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and obesity.

When it comes to eating, slow and steady really does win the race. The incidence rate was 11.6% among fast eaters, 6.5% among normal eaters and just 2.3% among slow eaters. They found that people who ate more slowly not only felt fuller at the end of the meal, but also believed they ate a larger portion than was actually consumed.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation told The Telegraph: "If anything, it's a reminder that many of us have hectic lifestyles which may include eating quickly at the desk over lunchtime, or in a rush commuting home". "Eating fast causes bigger glucose [blood sugar] fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance".

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