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Eating fast and until “feeling full” can more than triple the risk of becoming overweight, research from Japan’s Osaka University finds.
The study looked at the relationship between eating meals quickly and eating until full for over 3,000 Japanese participants, aged 30-69, and detailed their eating habits. Researchers found that 36% of women and 45% of men said they consumed meals quickly; for men, this eating behavior led to an 84% increase in being overweight, and was a little over two times as likely in women.
In addition to eating meals quickly, 58.4% of women and 50.9% of men also reported eating until full (defined for the study as “eating a large quantity of food in one meal”). Those who exhibited both eating behaviors were three times more likely to be overweight.
The conclusions are supported by similar studies conducted in recent years. Researchers point to fast-paced lifestyles, eating in distracting environments and lack of exercise as other contributing factors to becoming overweight.
In response to the study, Professor Ian MacDonald of the University of Nottingham told the BBC, “The old wives’ tale about chewing everything 20 times might be true—if you did take a bit more time eating, it could have an impact.”