Health & Diet Myths: Leaner by Chewing Gum?
Many swear by it: Frequent chewing gum is said to help you lose weight because it stimulates the digestion and the chewing consumes extra calories. A study examined this widespread assumption and came to interesting results.
Obesity is a health hazard
Being overweight is a health hazard. For example, those who weigh too many pounds are at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes. According to health experts, even minimal weight loss would have significant positive effects. But it is usually not so easy to get rid of excess pounds. Some people think that chewing gum can help, because they curb cravings, among other things. However, scientific research has shown that chewing gum does not help you lose weight and can even be counterproductive.
Chewing gum does not reduce weight
According to studies by scientists from the USA, chewing gum can reduce the number of total meals a day, but the total calories remain almost the same.
In addition, chewing gum has a tangible negative effect: "Chewing mint chewing gum reduces the consumption of fruit," the researchers at the University of Buffalo report in the science magazine "Eating Behaviors".
The researchers conducted a review study to investigate the effects of chewing gum.
During the study, 44 male and female subjects chewed gum with different flavors in the laboratory. A second group took meals as a review group without chewing gum beforehand.
Calorie intake always stayed the same
The total calorie intake remained the same in all subjects compared to meals without previous chewing gum. It also turned out "that the flavors had no effect on eating high-calorie foods."
However, the scientists found that mint chewing gum significantly reduced the amount of fruit consumed. "It could be that the mint strengthens bitter ingredients or that sweeter tastes weaker," says the research team.
In a second experiment, a total of 44 subjects received mint-flavored chewing gum containing guarana and green tea extracts for a week before each meal, which were said to reduce appetite.
In the following week they chewed chewing gum, which tasted similar to its predecessors but did not contain the same ingredients.
It turned out that "the total calorie intake was not reduced, but the fruit consumption decreased for most participants."
Positive effects on oral hygiene
For comparison, all participants took two chewing gum-free weeks, each between the chewing gum weeks.
It was striking that the participants took fewer snacks during the chewing gum weeks, but made up for the loss of calories during the main meals. So it turned out that the calorie intake was about the same as in the gum-free weeks.
"The research shows that chewing gum is very unlikely to be particularly useful for a diet," the researchers said, according to a report by "nutraingredients.com".
For other purposes, chewing gum is very useful. For example, it is known that chewing gum is suitable for healthy teeth and that it can be used to effectively prevent tooth decay. (sb, ad)