Eat too fast and you’re much more likely to become obese. That was the finding of a New Zealand study published last week.
Now, as reported in the Mail yesterday, the NHS is launching a ‘talking plate’ that reminds you to eat more slowly. And eating is not the only way your speed affects your wellbeing.
Here, experts explain how upping — or lowering — the tempo of everyday activities could have an impact on your health…
EATING TOO FAST
In the latest study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that women aged 40-50 who eat the quickest are more likely to be obese than slow eaters.
In fact, wolfing down meals could be enough to nearly double your risk of being overweight, according to a previous Japanese study.
Osaka University monitored the eating habits of 3,000 people and found fast-eating men were 84 per cent more likely to be overweight (women were just over twice as likely).
Eating too fast overrides the mechanisms which tell our brains we’re full, explains Ian McDonald, professor of metabolic physiology at Nottingham University.
‘Nerves send signals to the brain that the stomach is expanding,’ he says.
‘At the same time, a hormone called ghrelin, produced when your stomach empties to trigger a hunger message, starts to decrease. It takes about 20 minutes after you start eating for the message to stop eating to reach your brain. Put simply, eat too quickly, and you’re likely to overfill your stomach and overeat.
‘Many people develop these fast-eating habits as children, desperate to get away from the dinner table — it’s amazing how these habits can be carried through to adulthood.’