Doctor warns eating too fast can raise risk of three conditions

Dr Hilary Jones discusses UK's 'obesity epidemic' on GMB

“Indeed, it does,” Dr Sarah Berry answered on the ZOE Science and Nutrition podcast.

“There’s a lot more to eating rate than just how it interacts with our weight.”

Chatting to host Jonathan Wolf, Dr Berry cautioned that eating too fast is “not good for us”.

Dr Berry explained: “Essentially, your brain needs time to realise it’s full.

“And studies have shown that it takes between five or even up to 20 minutes for your mind to catch up with your belly.

“And research also tells us that eating more slowly increases the response of appetite-regulating hormones.”

Not only is eating too fast linked to obesity and, thus, disease – such as type 2 diabetes – it is linked to more visceral fat.

Dr Berry explained this is a “type of fat that sits inside your abdominal walls and surrounds all of your organs”.

Having more visceral fat is associated with poor cardiometabolic health.

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Dr Berry referenced a 2017 study, authored by a cardiologist from Hiroshima University in Japan, which found “fast eaters were almost twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome”.

Fast eating was correlated with greater weight gain, higher blood sugar, high cholesterol, and a larger waistline.

Dr Berry added: “There’s been other research that’s been published as well that has drawn a link between eating faster and a higher risk also of type two diabetes.

“And studies have shown that this may be because chewing more slowly stimulates more insulin release, which means better glucose control.

“And we think that this might be because if you chew for longer, you have more saliva uptake, and this causes an earlier insulin and glucose release.”

Fast eaters have also reported poor digestion and acid reflux, but Dr Berry pointed out that all the research has been observational.

“But what that does is it does give us [is] that kind of first clue that something interesting is going on.”

Three health conditions eating too fast puts you at risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome.

To hear more about different health subjects, from menopause to the health hazards of trans fats, tune into ZOE CEO Jonathan Wolf’s ZOE Science and Nutrition podcast.

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