Taking your time over meals cuts danger of heart disease

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 14, 2017

Researchers from the organization presented their findings about eating pace and health at the 2017 Scientific Sessions, a conference where researchers and clinicians discuss the newest heart health advances.

If your mother ever warned you to slow down because you eat too fast, she now has at least one good reason to support her case: Wolfing down food can expand your waistline and take a toll on your heart, a new study from Japan suggests.

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.

For the study, researchers looked at data on 642 men and 441 women whose average age was 51 years old.

The participants, who were all healthy at that point, were asked to describe their usual eating speed as slow, normal or fast and divided into these three groups.

At the beginning of the study, none of them had metabolic syndrome. Those who ate at normal speeds had a 6.5 percent chance of developing the syndrome while only 2.3 percent of slow eaters were at risk.

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

They found fast eaters were associated with greater weight gain, higher blood sugar levels and a larger waistline.

"Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome", said Dr Takayuki Yamaji, the study's author and a cardiologist at Hiroshima University, in a statement. Gobbling through your meals can increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.

He explained: "When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat. Eating fast causes bigger glucose [blood sugar] fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance".

"We also believe our research would apply to a United States population". However, the results did not show that the memory of what was consumed affected portion size of subsequent meals.

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