You can literally save time by eating swiftly, but at what cost? Metabolic syndrome.
High blood pressure, high triglycerides (fats in the blood), high blood sugar, low levels of good cholesterol, and weight gain are what comprises this so called metabolic syndrome.
A study from Japan, spearheaded Dr. Takayuki Yamaji, showed the relationship between eating speed and the incidence of metabolic syndrome in our cardiometabolic health.
Participated by 1,083 participants (642 males, 441 females, all over 51 years old) over a period of five years (2008-2013), the researchers used self-administered questionnaires indicating their lifestyle, eating habits, physical activity, and medical history.
The participants were also divided into three groups: slow eaters, normal eaters, fast eaters. Weight gain in the study was limited to an increase of at least 10 kilograms since the age of 20.
Over the said period, 84 people developed metabolic syndrome. Fast eaters were also twice more likely to develop the risk factors.
Over the 5-year follow-up period, 84 people developed metabolic syndrome. Overall, higher eating speed correlated with greater weight gain, higher blood sugar, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol, and a larger waistline.
Fast eaters were almost twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome compared with their normal eating counterparts.
“Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome […] When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat,” Dr. Yamaji commented.
He added, “Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance. We also believe our research would apply to a U.S. population.”
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome worldwide is between 10 percent and 84 percent.