WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- With Thanksgiving feasting here, new research suggests a simple way to avoid packing on holiday pounds: Eat more slowly.
Heavier people eat faster than slim ones, and men chow down faster than women, two new studies find.
Seeking insight into the role that eating rate plays in quantity of food consumed, researchers from the University of Rhode Island also saw that refined grains -- found in white breads, pastas and potatoes -- are eaten faster than healthier whole grains.
"What surprised us was just how fast men ate," said study author Kathleen Melanson, director of the university's Energy Balance Laboratory. "A marked gender difference is certainly there. Part of it might be that men have larger (mouths), but it also might be related to higher energy needs. Another possibility could be related to social norms -- women may feel they have to eat slower."
Melanson, also an associate professor of nutrition and food science, said she was pleased that the research also validated that those who claim they are fast or slow eaters are generally accurate in their assessment.
The studies were presented recently at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society in Orlando, Fla.
In one study, Melanson and her team found that fast eaters consumed about 3.1 ounces of food per minute, medium-speed eaters ate 2.5 ounces per minute, and slow eaters consumed 2 ounces per minute.
Men ate about 80 calories per minute, while women downed about 52 calories per minute. Interestingly, the men who called themselves slow eaters ate at about the same rate as the women who said they were fast eaters, Melanson said.
The results were "very much common sense . . . it supports research that's already there, so this is not necessarily new and ground-breaking," said Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of
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