Adapted from Independent Diabetes Trust Newsletter Dec 2021 and BMJ 29 Jan 2022
In the journal of Clinical Obesity researchers have shown that people who eat faster tend to gain more weight and are at higher risk of obesity than slow eaters. This is because it takes at least 20 minutes for stomach hormones to tell your brain that your hunger is satisfied.
They also found that only children didn’t tend to eat as fast as children who had siblings. The fast eating habit tends to persist in to adulthood and thus weight gain compared to only children.
My comments: I was one of four children and we certainly ate fast. If you didn’t grab the food quick enough it disappeared! This stood me in good stead as a doctor when there was very little time for eating on the job. My husband was one of three and is great at competitive eating too! He said it helped when working off shore when meals were slotted in during less busy periods. I had forgotten most of the childhood meal behaviours till I went to one of my friends houses with her husband and noticed that he carefully guarded his plate with his arm. I recalled that this was common practice in our house but that I had stopped doing it since leaving home. He was one of four children again. He had simply never changed his eating posture since leaving home!
In the American College of Cardiology 2021 they report that teenagers who have high BMIs have a 9% greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, and an 0.8% greater risk of having a heart attack in their 30s and 40s than normal weight teens. Regardless of their adult BMI, teens who were heavier went on to have a 2.6% greater risk of having poorer overall health in adulthood.