Eating Too Fast May Increase Chances of Metabolic Syndrome – Research Suggests

It is highly unlikely that you will meet a person who does not like trying new kinds of food. When it is time for any meal, it is hard to wait for the food to arrive and when it does, most of the people instantly start eating, often in a quick way.

It is understandable that hunger can make a person do that but new research has revealed that eating quickly can be harmful to health regardless of whether the food you are eating is healthy or high in calories.

Eating too quickly can not only lead to gaining extra pounds but an increased risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart conditions according to the new study presented at American Heart Association’s Scientific Session 2017, held in Anaheim, CA.

The research looked at the incidence of metabolic syndrome, which is the name for conditions that cause a variety of cardio-metabolic problems such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, and the speed of eating.

There are five conditions that increase the risk for cardio-metabolic issues. These risk factors are high blood sugar level, high blood pressure, low levels of HDL or good cholesterol, high triglycerides or amount of fats in the blood, and obesity or being overweight.

According to National Institute of Health, there has been an increase in metabolic syndrome cases along with the rise of obesity.  Statistically, around 34% of the adult population in the United States suffers from metabolic syndrome.

Eating Too Fast May Increase Chances of Metabolic Syndrome - Research Suggests

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There have even been warnings given by the National Institute of Health about metabolic syndrome causing more cases of heart disease than smoking.

Looking at the cases of metabolic syndrome worldwide, 10 percent to 84 percent of the people may be affected by cardio-metabolic problems depending on where the focus is.

Dr. Takayuki Yamaji who is a cardiologist at Hiroshima University in Japan was the lead author of the study which focused on more than 1,000 for over a period of five years.

Dr. Yamaji and colleagues looked at 1,083 participants out of which 642 were male. The age of almost all participants was a little above 51. None of the participants showed any symptoms of metabolic syndrome when the study began in 2008.

The participants’ information such as eating habits, lifestyle, medical history, and physical activity was taken through a self-administered questionnaire.

If the participants had put on more than ten kilograms of weight after crossing the age of twenty, it was considered weight for study purposes. There was also division based on eating speed. People were divided into three groups – slow eaters, normal eaters, and fast eaters.

After a period of five years, 84 people developed metabolic syndrome. Eating at a quick speed was linked with higher blood sugar, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol, obesity, and more weight gain.

Participants who were in the fast eaters division were almost twice more likely to have metabolic syndrome than others included in the study.

Fast eaters had an 11.6 percent higher chance of developing metabolic syndrome while normal eaters had a 6.5 higher chance. Low eaters were, on the other hand, seen to have only a 2.3 percent chance of metabolic syndrome.

According to Dr. Yamaji, eating slowly can be an important change in the lifestyle. Eating fast leads to greater glucose fluctuation which in turn causes insulin resistance.

Eating speed was also associated with the future cases of metabolic syndrome and obesity. If you eat in a fast way, you might want to consider changing that habit. Eating faster can also make you eat a lot more than you need and still make you feel unfulfilled.

If you cannot eat in a slow way, you can just be careful about eating at a normal speed and not just gobble down everything in five minutes during the lunch break.

Eating Too Fast May Increase Chances of Metabolic Syndrome - Research Suggests




With an academic background in Food Sciences, Klaire is interested to read about the latest news on nutrition, therapeutic benefits of foods and health. She is a practicing dietician with a focus on improving women’s health. Before joining the team, she has worked as a researcher and freelance writer.

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