Sit, relax, chew: Eating too fast increases your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol more than five-fold
11/18/2017 // Zoey Sky // Views

It looks like the weight loss tip to eat slowly has its merits. According to a recent study, eating too fast increases the "risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease."

Research findings indicate that individuals who eat fast might end up eating more because their bodies don't have the time to realize that it's already full. Meanwhile, eating slowly seems to be better for your overall health. (Related: Stress reducing eating habits-How to eat mindfully?)

For the study, researchers observed more than 1,000 middle-aged participants. Based on the results, those who ate faster "were five-and-a-half times more likely than slow eaters to go on to develop metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of conditions including obesity and high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol." Dr. Takayuki Yamaji, a cardiologist at Hiroshima University in Japan, explained, "Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome."

Metabolic syndrome (also known as mets) occurs when a person shows any of three risk factors connected to diabetes and heart disease such as abdominal obesity, high fasting blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low "good" HDL cholesterol.

Eating fast seems to be linked to increased weight gain and higher blood glucose. During a meeting with the American Heart Association in California, Dr. Yamaji said that fast eating could cause over-eating.

The study on eating fast and its side effects

Dr. Yamaji and his colleagues studied 642 men and 441 women with an average age of 51 when the study began in 2008. All the participants were healthy at the start of the study, and they were asked to describe their usual eating speed as either slow, normal, or fast. They were then divided into these three eating speed categories.


The participants were re-examined in 2013, and Dr. Yamaji commented, "When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat." He continued, "Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation which can lead to insulin resistance." The doctor said mets is one of the causes of cardiovascular diseases and that some studies have linked eating speed to weight gain.

Dr. Yamaji added, "Limited information, however, is available concerning the relation between eating speed and the risk of prevalence of mets." A self-administered questionnaire at the outset was used to glean data concerning lifestyle factors such as dietary behaviors, physical activity, and medical history.

At the five-year follow-up, 84 participants were diagnosed with mets. He concluded, "The incidence rates among slow, normal and fast-eating participants were 2.3, 6.5 and 11.6 percent, respectively."

In a separate study by experts at North Carolina State University, it was confirmed that "mindful eating, or savoring each bite in every meal, focusing on the flavor of your food and "eating with purpose," was more effective and helped individuals lose six times the weight as other dieters.

The researchers advised people to refrain from distractions while eating, such as turning off the television during meals and not having lunch at their desk. The overweight participants who tried the "mindful eating" mantra lost four and a half pounds, or 1.9 kilograms (kg), in 15 weeks, while other dieters only lost two-thirds of a pound (0.3 kg). Six months after the trial stopped, three-quarters of participants in the mindfulness program kept their weight off or lost more weight.

Other weight loss tips to try

Aside from practicing mindful eating, here are more weight loss tips that you can try:

  • Set realistic goals -- Be honest with your goals, such as making healthier meals twice a week if you're too busy to cook every day.
  • Determine why you want to lose weight -- Do want to shed the pounds before the office Christmas party? Or do you want to eat healthier? Answering these questions will strengthen your resolve to lose weight.
  • Pick a diet that works for you -- Choose a diet that you can maintain based on your lifestyle.

You can read more articles about how to eat healthier and lose weight naturally at

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