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Slow down! Scarfing meals is bad for your health

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In one of Homer Simpson's most memorable eating scenes, he's stuffing doughnuts in his mouth, using alternating hands for maximum speed. "Hey Homer, slow down! You're gonna choke or something!" says Lenny.

"Don't tell me how to eat doughnuts!" Homer protests as he starts gasping for air!

"Isn't there a first aid chart around here somewhere?" asks Lenny calmly as Homer frantically runs around the kitchen. Finally, Homer spits out the doughnuts on his own.

Chances are you received the same warning as a kid: Chew slowly so that you don't choke. Well, now there's a new reason to chew with grace. Eating fast makes it more likely you'll be obese and develop health problems, like diabetes and heart disease, that are associated with metabolic syndrome.

In a recent study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, researchers followed over 1,000 adults for five years. At the beginning, none had metabolic syndrome. That's when you have any three of these conditions: abdominal obesity, high fasting blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol.

Five years later, they found that fast eaters were almost 12 percent more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, compared with 6.5 percent for normal eaters and 2.3 percent for slow eaters. Faster eating was also linked to greater weight gain, higher glucose levels and a larger waistline.

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So, chew more slowly, and wait longer between bites. Then your appetite-suppressing hormone (leptin) has a chance to kick in and help you eat healthfully.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

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