For ages, mothers have admonished children at the dinner table to slow down and chew their food. Apparently, they’re onto something.
Researchers have found evidence over the years that when people wolf their food, they end up consuming more calories than they would at a slower pace. One reason is the effect of quicker ingestion on hormones.
In a study last month, scientists found that when a group of subjects were given an identical serving of ice cream on different occasions, they released more hormones that made them feel full when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of 5 . The scientists took blood samples and measured insulin and gut hormones before, during and after eating. They found that two hormones that signal feelings of satiety, or fullness — glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY — showed a more pronounced response in the slow condition.
Ultimately, that leads to eating less, as another study published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggested in 2008. In that study, subjects reported greater satiety and consumed roughly 10 percent fewer calories when they ate at a slow pace compared with times when they gobbled down their food. In another study of 3,000 people in The British Medical Journal, those who reported eating quickly and eating until full had triple the risk of being overweight compared with others.
In other words, experts say, it can’t hurt to slow down and savor your meals.