Eating more slowly is linked to lower obesity and a slimmer waist, new research finds.
People eating slowly were 42% less likely to be obese than those eating faster, the large study found.
Eating slowly may help people feel fuller more quickly because of how the body’s insulin levels respond to slower eating.
Two other simple habits were also linked to weight loss:
- Avoiding after dinner snacks.
- Not eating within two hours of going to bed.
The study followed almost 60,000 people in Japan for five years.
All categorised their eating speed as either slow, medium or fast.
Around one-third ate their food quickly, half at a normal rate and the rest were slow eaters
The results revealed that slow eaters were more likely to be healthy and to have a healthier lifestyle.
People eating at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese and those eating slowly were 42% less likely to be obese.
The slower people ate, the slimmer their waists.
The study’s authors concluded:
“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.”
Note: the study was observational, so firm conclusions cannot be drawn about cause and effect.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal BMJ Open (Hurst et al., 2018).