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Appetite control

Eating slowly proven to reduce caloric intake by 70 percent in recent study

Friday, December 08, 2006 by: Ben Kage
Tags: appetite control, weight control, health news


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(NewsTarget) You can maintain weight and even lose it if you eat your food slowly, according to a new University of Rhode Island study.

The theory that eating slowly means a lower food intake has been around for at least 30 years, but this study is the first to lend scientific proof to the idea.

"It started in 1972 as a hypothesis that eating slowly would allow the body time for the development of satiety, and we would eat less," said University of Rhode Island assistant professor of nutrition and food science Kathleen Melanson. "Since then it has become common knowledge, but no studies had been conducted to prove it."

Thirty college-aged women were split into two groups, the first of which was asked to eat pasta with tomato and vegetable sauce and Parmesan cheese without pausing between bites. This group averaged 646 calories in nine minutes. The second group was served the same meal, but asked to put their forks down and chew between bites, and averaged 579 calories in 29 minutes. The members of the second group reported still feeling full an hour after their meal.

"Satiety signals need time to develop," Melanson said. "Not only did the women take in fewer calories when they ate more slowly, they also had a greater feeling of satiety at meal completion and 60 minutes later, which suggests there are benefits in eating slowly."

"When we consume food more slowly, it gives our appetite control systems time to recognize and adjust to the amount of food we've consumed," said Mike Adams, author of the "Food Timing Diet." "But by eating food too quickly, we consume calories ahead of our body's ability to track our total food intake, and we don't stop after we've had enough food. Remember, it takes the body approximately 20 minutes to adjust its appetite regulation mechanisms to the food you've just eaten."

Melanson added that a measured eating speed -- especially during three daily meals -- could cause people to eat up to 210 fewer calories a day.

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