With child obesity rising at alarming rate, a study that reveals simple tricks to prevent kids from becoming overweight is welcomed.
An experiment conducted over the course of a year has revealed that children who were told to eat more slowly lost 3.4 to 4.8 percent of their weight; while the other who ate at a higher speed gained 8.3 to 12.6 percent. Introducing this practise of eating slowly into mealtimes will be beneficial to the whole family, adults inclusive.
1. Eating Slowly: Researchers credit the results to the fact that kids who ate more slowly benefited from the “satiety reflex,” which is when the stomach tells the brain that it’s no longer hungry. The reflex takes about 15 minutes to activate, but kids — and adults — often scarf down meals in much less time than that. Geert Schmid-Schonbein, a study co-author tells Yahoo Parenting that in addition to taking slow bites.
2. Stop Eating Before You Feel Full: It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full. “You want to catch that feeling early on, long before you consume large amounts of calories,” explains Geert Schmid-Schonbein, a study co-author and bioengineering professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.
“Have kids eat slow bites for 10-12 minutes, and when they have no more hunger and are ready to run off, let them go. When you don’t force them to eat more, they fall into a very natural cycle at every meal,” he Schmid-Schonbein added.
This trick can also work in the reverse. If your child is having a hard time gaining weight, you might want to train them to eat more quickly.