Eating too quickly can lead to obesity

A OSAKA University study suggests that eating too quickly could lead to obesity. The findings indicated the chances of being overweight could double as a result. Males were more likely than females to be overweight as a result of eating quickly.

The study used a sample of 3,000 volunteers, of whom at least half ate too quickly.

Previously, being fat could have been an evolutionary advantage, and eating quickly then helped us to grab more food when resources were scarce, according to Dr Elizabeth Denney-Wilson (UNSW) and Dr Karen Campbell (Deakin University).

They said that, if possible, children should be encouraged to eat slowly, and allowed to stop when they felt full up at mealtimes. Most times, in my opinion, this could prevent overeating.

Professor Ian McDonald (University of Nottingham) said that there were a number of reasons why eating fast could be bad for your weight. It could interfere with a signalling system which tells your brain to stop eating because your stomach is swelling up.

"If you eat quickly you basically fill your stomach before your gastric feedback has a chance to start developing - you can overfill the thing."

Professor McDonald said that rushing meals was a behaviour that might have been learned in infancy, and could be reversed, although this might not be easy.

"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."

So parents, take note, especially in these times of financial crises, when we have paused a lot longer than usual to consider more of what our grandparents dished out in the past as cautionary notes about life and living.