Want to stave off diabetes? Eat slowly, says a new study.
Researchers at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences have found that people who wolf down their food are two-and-a half times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who savour their meal.
This is in line with previous research that found links between eating quickly and obesity. But it is the first time that the speed at which people eat has been identified as an independent risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
For their study, the researchers compared 234 newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes patients to 468 people free from the disease. The participants were quizzed on diabetes risk factors and asked to rate their eating speed. Body weights and measurements were also taken, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.
After adjusting for other factors including a family history of diabetes, exercise habits and smoking, the researchers found those with faster eating habits had a more than two times greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Lead researcher Dr. Lina Radzeviciene said, “The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is increasing globally and becoming a world pandemic. It’s important to identify modifiable risk factors that may help people reduce their chances of developing the disease.”
Type 2 diabetes, which normally develops during middle age and is associated with obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle, is a largely preventable disease that can be controlled through a healthy diet and exercise, even if an individual finds it a struggle to lose weight.
Dr. Radzeviciene’s team now hopes to perform a larger study looking at how types of food, calorie intake, exercise, and psychological and emotional well-being affect diabetes risk factors.