Eating too fast may increase obesity

Eating too fast may increase obesity

People who eat slowly are less likely to become obese or develop metabolic syndrome, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017.

The study participants were grouped according to their speed of eating food into slow, normal or fast. After five years, it was found:

  • Fast eaters were more likely (11.6%) to have developed metabolic syndrome than normal eaters (6.5%) or slow eaters (2.3%).
  • Faster eating speed was associated with more weight gain, higher blood glucose and larger waistline.

Metabolic syndrome occurs when someone has any of three risk factors that include abdominal obesity, high fasting blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol.

According to the researchers, eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuations, which can lead to insulin resistance. People who eat too fast without chewing their food tend to overeat as they tend not to feel full.

Our shastras including Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagwad Gita and the various Upanishads also tell us “You are what you eat”. Mealtime practices influence health.

It is important to be aware of the food we are eating. This is called mindful eating, which means being aware of the hunger and satiety signals. It also means using all the five senses while eating: colors (eye), smells (nose), flavors (taste), textures (touch) and sound while chewing (ear) of the food.

In Chapter 6 Shloka 17 of the Bhagwad Gita Krishna says to Arjuna “Yukaharaviharasya yuktachestasya karmasu. Yuktasvapnavabodhasya yoga bhavati duhkhaha”. It means “the one, whose diet and movements are balanced, whose actions are proper, whose hours of sleeping and waking up are regular, and who follows the path of meditation, is the destroyer of pain or unhappiness.”

With mindful eating, you are more aware of hunger and satiety cues, so you eat less.

Chewing food well improves digestion and more nutrients are absorbed as well.

Chewing food well also helps to eat less. You will enjoy every bite and relish the flavors of food.

(Source: AHA News Release, November 13, 2017)

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