Home > Diet and nutrition > News 25 November 2013 Chew more to eat less Try chewing your food more thoroughly before you swallow it and it could help you keep the weight off, a new study shows. 0 iStock Related Obesity gene found Obese teens face grim future Obese older women face disability risk Vit & Min doses per day » Count calories in food » Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Ask The Dietitians » 10 foods to boost your immune system Your quick guide to Banting People who increased the number of times they chewed their food before swallowing ate less over the course of a meal, in a new study.Slow eaters tend to be slimmer. But researchers didn't know whether asking people to chew more would change the amount of food they ate.They found meal sizes shrunk when adults chewed extra before swallowing - whether they were normal weight, overweight or obese."The study reinforces the benefits of taking time to chew food well and enjoy the variety of textures and flavours in our meals," registered dietician Constance Brown-Riggs told Reuters Health in an email.Brown-Riggs is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and was not involved in the new research.How the study was doneProspective study participants were asked to consume five portions of Totino's pizza rolls and count the number of times they chewed each roll. Researchers did not tell them what specifically was being tested in the study.Forty-seven people went on to finish the study. Sixteen were a normal weight, 16 were overweight and 15 were obese.Those participants attended three weekly lunchtime test sessions. On each day, researchers gave them 60 pizza rolls and told them to eat until they were full. Depending on the session, researchers asked people to chew every bite the same number of times as at their test visit, 50% more or twice as many times.They also asked participants how full they were feeling before, during and after each lunch session.Researchers found people ate about 10% less food, corresponding to 70 fewer calories, when they increased their chewing by 50%. When they doubled their chewing, they ate 15% less food and 112 fewer calories.Normal-weight participants ate more slowly than overweight and obese participants. Across the board, people spent more time eating when they increased their chewing.The participants rated their appetite the same after each meal even though slower chewing reduced how much they ate, according to findings published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.Normal life?Researchers noted that the study was conducted under laboratory conditions, so it's not clear how it would translate to normal life. Long-term studies are needed to look at the effect of extra chewing on weight and other markers of disease."Increasing the number of chewing cycles before swallowing can reduce food intake and increase satiety," James Hollis said. He worked on the study at Iowa State University in Ames."However, it is not clear if this is a practical approach to weight management," Hollis said. The researchers are now looking to see whether how fast people eat, for instance, influences how much they consume."It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to signal your stomach that you're full," Brown-Riggs said."Fast eaters can consume a large amount of food within that 20-minute period resulting in more calories, which can lead to overweight or obesity. This may be why participants in this study reduced their food intake. Increasing the number of chews increased the meal duration," she said. NEXT ON HEALTH24X Coke tackles sugar concerns with pricing, recipe moves 2017-06-08 13:43 More: Diet and nutritionNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical SA child born with HIV has virus under control without drugs Medical Should it really take tragic celebrity suicides to shine the spotlight on mental health? News Revealed: 100 Gauteng ambulances out of operation every day News SEE: Your brain might be 25 years older than your body Medical schemes 20 medical scheme myths you should not believe Medical How much sleep do you really need? From our sponsors How erectile dysfunction can affect relationships Coping with the fear of cancer IBS affects 15% of people around the world The evolution of asthma treatment Live healthier Here's some help... » Combat childhood obesity Childhood obesity brings future health problems 3 ways to get young couch potatoes away from the screen Are your children glued to their electronic devices? It might be time to start making some rules. Time for a break? » Stressful job leads to emotional burnout Work burnout tied to emotional eating This is why you must take annual leave Avoid burnout and use your annual leave to get some well-deserved rest. Your body and mind will thank you.