Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Speed of Bite

It now appears that eating quickly can cause obesity! I hate to use car and gas-tank analogies as they can over-simplify the complexity of diet, nutrition, hunger and satiety. But to cut a long story short, that is exactly what your hunger should do. Hunger should act as a simple mechanism to guide your appetite - and given that it evolved over the last two-million years, you'd think it would be bloody good at it.

How does 'eating fast' cause obesity? According to Professor Ian McDonald from Nottingham University,
  • "If you eat quickly you basically fill your stomach before your gastric feedback has a chance to start developing - you can overfill the thing."
Now this may be true, but if you put more fuel in to your car, you can drive further. And this is where the 'eating fast' concept breaks down. It simplifies the problem much further than my gas tank analogy in that it assumes that once the food is inside of you, no further appetite correction can or will occur.

I am sure many of us have 'over filled' our stomach - on Christmas day for example. And at your next meal, did you eat your 'usual amount' or did you actually have less or skip the meal all together? I for one have witnessed my family and myself all 'fasting' between our Christmas dinner (around 1400hrs) and a small late supper (around 2100hrs).

Why do we 'fast' this period? It is because we over-consumed and our bodies were happy for us to go without a top up for longer than usual. Much longer. Are we really to believe that our bodies cannot adjust our appetite in accordance with how much food we have eaten? Has anybody actually had an experience of being able to continually over-eat at every meal time?

You might be able to over-eat at a particular meal (and feel ill because of it), but that does not explain obesity. Obesity is driven by appetite.

Fork Me
Whilst eating fast may lead to a short term weight gain, over a longer term your body still knows if it is maintaining homeostasis and will adjust appetite accordingly....unless you eat grains.....but then you already knew that.

It can be only a matter of time before scientists discover that large plates or bigger spoons are similarly implicated.

No comments: