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May 15, 2014 07:31 AM EDT

Eating Slowly and Chewing Food More Can Help Shed Excess Fat, Study

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Tokyo University of Technology researchers have established a link between excessive chewing of food and shedding fat.

The benefits of eating slowly and chewing have been long recommended by medical practitioners. "If chewing alters digestion-induced thermogenesis, its importance should be incorporated into weight management strategies," the researchers said in a statement.

For the study, the researchers examined quantitative studies to determine whether co-relation existed between increased chewing of food and energy consumption related to digestion, absorption and storage.

The researchers also observed two groups of healthy participants while they ate 100 kcal of solid food (11 participnats) and 300 kcal of solid food (10 participants), respectively. Both groups undertook two trials. In the first trial, the participants were asked to gobble the food and in the second one, they were instructed to chew as many times as possible.

The researchers found that the energy expenditure associated with digestion, absorption and storage of food, known as "diet-induced thermogenesis" was directly proportional to the number of times it was chewed. Energy was consumed more when participants ate their food slowly and chewed a lot.

"These findings suggest a partial link between obesity trends and chewing," researchers concluded.

The study titled "The number of chews and meal duration affect diet-induced thermogenesis and splanchnic circulation," was documented in the journal Obesity.

Besides eating food slowly with higher number of chews, overweight people can improve their weight by living close to supermarkets.

A recent study found that children residing nearby supermarkets increased their intake of fruits and vegetables than those living farther away.

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