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Eating Fast Linked to Higher BMI

Slow down! Speedy eaters may pack on more pounds.

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Woman savoring food and not eating fast

How often do you stare down at an empty bowl and wonder where all that food went? In today’s fast-paced world, too many of us are guilty of eating fast. But failing to linger over meals could be one more reason why Americans’ waistlines continue to inflate.

Findings published in Clinical Obesity revealed that adults and children who reported eating fast tend to have higher body mass indexes and bigger waistlines than those who eat more slowly. Quick eating makes people prone to eating more than necessary because it takes a bit of time for the body to recognize a sense of fullness.

The study also showed that people who grew up with siblings tend to eat much faster than those who didn’t, though the results did not link this directly to weight gain and obesity. If people had siblings, they probably competed for whatever was on the table, prompting them to scarf things down. Alternatively, the presence of siblings at a meal may have been a distraction from mindful eating, leading to a faster eating rate.

See also: Yes, You Can Develop Better Eating Habits

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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