From Our 2004 Archives

Eat Slow, Lose Weight?

Eating more slowly may help overweight people eat less and lose weight

By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Medical News

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario. MD

Nov. 17, 2004 -- Eating slowly may help overweight people lose weight after all, according to a new study that tested the commonly held belief.

The study showed that overweight men and women actually ate less when they ate a slower than usual pace.

Researchers say the study shows that eating slower may assist overweight men and women in their weight loss efforts. Their results were presented this week at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in Las Vegas.

Eat Slow, Lose Weight

In the study, 28 overweight men and women ate a lunch of chicken nuggets at their normal pace in order for researchers to establish their habitual eating pattern.

Then over the course of three lunches, researchers varied the pace of the same meal by instructing the participants to take a bite when they heard a computer beep.

In the first lunch, they ate a prolonged meal in which the pace of the entire meal was slowed by 50%. In the second, they ate a decelerated meal in which the pace of only the last half of the meal was decreased by half, and in the final meal they ate at a steady pace.

The participants were told that the computer beeping would last indefinitely and they could eat as much or as little as they wanted.

The study showed that all of the participants ate more during the steady meal than in either of the slower meals. The difference between each of the three meals was largest among the men. However, researchers say only a small number of men were involved in the study (six), and more research is needed to confirm this result.

But they say this study shows that a slower rate of eating results in people eating less, which may help them lose weight.

SOURCE: Martin, C. "Does Slower Eating Rate Reduce Food Intake? Results of an Empirical Test" presented at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting, Nov. 14-18, 2004, Las Vegas.

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