Want to Stave Off Diabetes? Slow Down

Do you devour your dinner as if it were your last meal? It may be time to start slowing down. Individuals who eat at a fast pace have a 2.5 times higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research reported in The Huffington Post.

Researchers focused on the eating habits of 700 people, some without Type 2 diabetes and some newly diagnosed with the disorder. Fast eating was linked to an increased Type 2 diabetes risk, according to the study, which was presented at the International Congress of Endocrinology and the European Congress of Endocrinology.

Why the connection? "When you eat quickly, you tend to eat more since you don't have the chance to get satiated before you put the fork down," says Kathleen Barbera, RD, CDE, in the Division of Endocrinology at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, New York. "Also, when you eat fast, you may have a harder time digesting food."

When you eat, it takes your stomach a full 20 minutes to register with your brain that you are full, points out Adee Rasabi, RD, CDN, CDE, of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York City. "If someone eats fast and takes in more than they need, it can lead to weight gain and obesity, and this is a risk factor for diabetes."

To help yourself consciously slow down when you take your place at the table, follow these suggestions:

  • Put down your fork between bites and remember that it's not a race.
  • Have a glass of water with your meal to help fill you up.
  • Stay socially engaged, says Rasabi. Converse with fellow diners as you eat and enjoy the conversation, not just the food.  Avoid sitting in front of the television or the computer during a meal so you'll be more mindful of what you're eating. "If you eat where you work or where you have your leisure activities, you start to connect eating with these areas," Rasabi says. "There is no structure about when and where you are eating."
  • Don't go for more than four hours without food. If you eat when you're really hungry, you tend to eat faster.
  • Designate an eating spot, Rasabi suggests. It should be relaxing and mellow. And instead of listening to fast music as you dine, listen to calming, soothing tunes. Slower music can help slow down your pace.

Alison Massey reviewed this article.




"Fast Eaters may have higher risk of Type 2 diabetes." 9 May 2012. Huffington Post.-