New scientific study indicates that eating quickly is associated with overeating

November 04, 2009

Chevy Chase, MD-- According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), eating a meal quickly, as compared to slowly, curtails the release of hormones in the gut that induce feelings of being full. The decreased release of these hormones, can often lead to overeating.

"Most of us have heard that eating fast can lead to food overconsumption and obesity, and in fact some observational studies have supported this notion," said Alexander Kokkinos, MD, PhD, of Laiko General Hospital in Athens Greece and lead author of the study. "Our study provides a possible explanation for the relationship between speed eating and overeating by showing that the rate at which someone eats may impact the release of gut hormones that signal the brain to stop eating."

In the last few years, research regarding gut hormones, such as peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), has shown that their release after a meal acts on the brain and induces satiety and meal termination. Until now, concentrations of appetite-regulating hormones have not been examined in the context of different rates of eating.

In this study, subjects consumed the same test meal, 300ml of ice-cream, at different rates. Researchers took blood samples for the measurement of glucose, insulin, plasma lipids and gut hormones before the meal and at 30 minute intervals after the beginning of eating, until the end of the session, 210 minutes later. Researchers found that subjects who took the full 30 minutes to finish the ice cream had higher concentrations of PYY and GLP-1 and also tended to have a higher fullness rating.

"Our findings give some insight into an aspect of modern-day food overconsumption, namely the fact that many people, pressed by demanding working and living conditions, eat faster and in greater amounts than in the past," said Kokkinos. "The warning we were given as children that 'wolfing down your food will make you fat,' may in fact have a physiological explanation."
-end-
Other researchers working on the study include Kleopatra Alexiadou, Nicholas Tentolouris, Despoina Kyriaki, Despoina Perrea and Nicholas Katsilambros of Athens University Medical School in Greece; and Carel le Roux, Royce Vincent, Mohammad Ghatei and Stephen Bloom of Imperial College in London, United Kingdom.

The article, "Eating slowly increases the postprandial response of the anorexigenic gut hormone, Peptide YY and Glucagon like peptide-1," will appear in the January 2010 issue of JCEM.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endo-society.org.

The Endocrine Society

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