Eat slowly to reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome, researchers say

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Eating too fast could promote metabolic syndrome and obesity, according to new research from Japan.
Scientists found that fast eaters were more likely to gain weight and experience health complications compared to normal eaters, while slow eaters were least likely to develop metabolic syndrome.
Lead author Dr Takayuki Yamaji, Miyoshi Central Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan, told Medscape Cardiology: “If you chew your food many times, you spend more time at meals, you’re more likely to feel full. It takes about 20 minutes for signals from your stomach indicating that you are full to reach your brain.
“If you feel your own eating speed is faster than other people in daily life, you may have a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.”
Yamaji and colleagues followed up on 1,083 men and women five years after they rated their eating speed during an annual health exam. New-onset metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 11.6 per cent of fast eaters, 6.5 per cent of normal eaters and 2.3 per cent of slow eaters.
Fast eaters also gained greater waist circumference and overall body weight, factors which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers said that eating fast causes severe glucose fluctuations, which can increase levels of oxidative stress, leading to insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
Fast eaters were also more likely to drink alcohol every day, eat dinner nearer to bedtime and snack after dinner, compared to normal or slow eaters.
Benedict Jephcote, Editor of Diabetes.co.uk, said: “Eating too quickly is an easy habit to fall into in our busy lives. This study shows that taking more time to really enjoy your food can have firm benefits on weight management as well as diabetes management and prevention.”
The findings were reported at the American Heart Association 2017 Scientific Sessions.