Out of all the respondents, only 7 percent said that they were slow eaters, compared to over half of them saying that they ate at normal speed and about a third of them saying that they ate quickly.
At the end of the six years, the slowest eaters were the least likely to be rated obese as defined by their BMIs, while those who reduced their eating speed also reduced their weight (their BMIs dropped, and their waist circumferences shrank).
The researchers did the analysis on the health insurance data of 59,717 individuals who are diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus-a disease that generally hits in adulthood because of being overweight.
The study found that people who followed these two behaviours were less likely to gain weight and had a smaller waist circumference.
Snacking after dinner and eating within two hours of going to sleep, three or more times a week, were also strongly linked to changes in BMI.
Interestingly, skipping breakfast does nothing to decrease weight.
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It is to be noted that the study did not conclude that the speed of eating prevented obesity, only that they are linked. "Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks".
A Japanese study released in 2014 that tracked the eating habits of girls over a three-year period also found evidence of a possible connection between eating speeds and weight gain or loss. The figure was even higher for slow eaters, sitting at 42 per cent.
The participants of the research study had regular check-ups from 2008 till 2013.
Eating speed and other behavior were self-reported in the study.
If you want to shed some pounds without changing what you eat, try changing how you eat. By eating too fast, people may not give this intricate hormonal system the needed time to tell the brain that the stomach is full.
Observational studies can demonstrate links between factors such as eating speed and obesity, but they cannot prove that one factor (such as eating quickly) directly causes another (such as obesity).
If you tend to be a fast eater, Crowley suggests trying to practice mindful eating, in which you consciously pay attention to each bite of food you put into your mouth and notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. This is possibly because it may take longer for fast eaters to feel full, whereas this might happen more quickly for slow eaters, helping to curb their calorie intake, the researchers suggested.
'In particular, workers who snatch their lunch at the desk are doing their health no favours.