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Eating Quickly May Increase the Risk of Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome

A recent study suggests that people who eat slowly may be at a lower risk of developing obesity and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other diseases. These risk factors include central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism.


Participants in the study included 642 men and 441 women with an average age of 51.2 years who did not have metabolic syndrome in 2008. The researchers divided all the participants into three groups based on how they described the speed at which they ate: fast, normal, or slow.


The researchers followed up with the participants after five years and found that 11.6% of the fast eaters had developed metabolic syndrome, compared with 6.5% of the normal eaters, and 2.3% of the slow eaters. Faster eating speed was also associated with more weight gain, higher blood glucose, and a larger waistline.


It takes a while for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full, so when a person eats quickly, they are more prone to overeat.  Eating quickly also causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistane.


Researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan conducted the study. It was presented to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2017 on November 12, 2017.

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