There are reports on the BBC today about a Japanese study that has linked obesity with the speed at which you eat. They found that people who eat quickly tend to be overweight, in contrast to those who eat slowly.
This fits in quite well with idea that the key to controlling your weight is keeping your glucose level at a fairly medium value and avoiding highs and lows. The problem we face with our modern diet is that it is so energy rich we can eat it more quickly than our body can monitor it. As a result, at any given meal it is extremely easy to eat more than you really need.
I think the ultimate in this is burger chains like MacDonalds and Burger King. When you say fast food you tend to think of it as being prepared fast. And so it is. But it is designed to be consumed fast as well. It doesn’t help the chain if it makes the food fast if you then fill up the restaurant with people who proceed to eat slowly. You don’t need to much chewing in these places. In particular I am always struck by how fragile the buns are. They almost seem pre-digested.
If you like a soft drink to go with your burger and some chips, you’ll be clocking up maybe 1000 calories. (Tea drinkers like myself will know that you have to ask for tea usually after having turned down the offer of a cold drink that can be drunk more quickly.) So you can get nearly half your daily energy requirements down in less than quarter of an hour. Great for when you are driving on a motorway, but not so good if you are going to be sitting down all afternoon and going home to your main meal.
It isn’t surprising we are all putting on weight.
The answer might be as simple as developing a new habit. Eat slowly.
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