People with type 2 diabetes who eat slowly are more likely to lose weight, according to a new study.
Scientists from Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Fukuoka, Japan found slower eating was linked with lower waist circumference and BMI.
They reviewed 59,717 people with type 2 diabetes between 2008 and 2013, with data collected from health checkups, including questions on their diet and lifestyle. One of these questions was how fast they rated their eating speed.
A total of 21.5% of slow eaters were obese compared with 30% of those who ate at a normal speed, and 45% of fast eaters. Slow eaters also had lower BMI compared to the other two groups.
As well as eating more slowly, those who didn’t snack after dinner and didn’t eat just before going to bed also had reduced BMI.
The authors wrote: “Interventions aimed at altering eating habits, such as education initiatives and programmes to reduce eating speed, may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases.”
Previous studies have also demonstrated benefits of eating slowly. Last year researchers reported that eating too fast could promote metabolic syndrome and obesity.
In response to this new study, Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The speed at which a lot of people wolf down their food is undeniably a contributor to obesity. It takes fast eaters longer to feel full simply because they don’t allow time for the gut hormones to tell the brain to stop eating. Eating quickly also causes bigger blood sugar fluctuations which can lead to insulin resistance.”
The findings have been published in the journal BMJ Open.