September 1, 2011
OTAGO, New ZealandAdd this to the arsenal against the battle of the bulge: Eat slowly.
Researchers at the University of Otago found that women who eat slowly are less likely to be overweight or obese.
In the study of more than 1,500 women between the ages of 40-50, researchers analyzed the relationship between self-reported speed of eating and BMI. After adjusting for factors such as age, ethnicity, smoking, physical activity and menopause status, the researchers found that the faster women reported their eating speed to be, the higher their BMI.
For every one-step increase in a five-step scale ranging from very slow eating to very fast, the womens BMI increased by 2.8 %, which is equivalent to a 1.95 kg weight increase in a woman of average BMI for this group," the researchers concluded.
Results from a two-year follow-up are expected to be published next year, according to the University of Otago. If analysis of the data confirms a causal relationship, the researchers say they will test interventions that include a focus on encouraging women to eat more slowly.
If such interventions prove effective, they could be used alongside other non-dieting approaches we have previously trialed with overweight or obese women. These approaches successfully prevented weight gain in at-risk women and even produced significant weight loss in some. Our interventions included intensive training in relaxation techniques and how to recognize and avoid stress-related triggers for eating."
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