A) men eat significantly faster than women, B) heavier people eat faster than slimmer people.
The author of the study, Kathleen Melanson, found “very strong gender differences” in eating rates. At lunch, the men consumed about 80 calories per minute while the women consumed 52 calories per minute.
“The men who reported eating slowly ate at about the same rate as the women who reported eating quickly,” said Melanson, director of the URI Energy Balance Laboratory.
The second study found that individuals with a high BMI typically eating considerably faster than those with a low BMI.
“One theory we are pursuing is that fast eating may be related to greater energy needs, since men and heavier people have higher energy needs,” said Melanson.
“It takes time for your body to process fullness signals,” she concluded, “so slower eating may allow time for fullness to register in the brain before you’ve eaten too much.”
The latest research follows up on a landmark 2007 study conducted by Melanson that was the first to confirm the popular dietary belief that eating slowly reduces food intake. That study found that women who were told to eat quickly consumed 646 calories in nine minutes, but the same women consumed just 579 calories in 29 minutes when encouraged to pause between bites and chew each mouthful 15 to 20 times before swallowing.