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Eating Slowly

May 28, 2007

Eating slowly could help you eat less.


Gulping extra pounds. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Listen up, dieters: Eating breakfast is good, but gulping it down quickly may be bad. Nutritionist Kathleen Melanson and student Ana Andrade of the University of Rhode Island asked volunteers to drink a liquid breakfast either quickly or slowly. They found that the fast drinkers were hungrier and less satisfied immediately after drinking, and they tended to eat more calories at lunchtime. Although the study used just 16 volunteers, Melanson says the findings agree with a larger study that used a pasta lunch.

KATHLEEN MELANSON (University of Rhode Island):
In our previous study, we estimated that it would make a difference of about 200 calories a day. This study is suggesting about the same amount.

That equals just under two pounds a month. As to why slow eating works, Melanson thinks it may allow more time for the digestive organs to send fullness signals to the brain.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.