Kathleen Melanson, professor of nutrition and food sciences, compared gum chewing to non-gum chewing in vigorous adult volunteers who came to her lab for two consistent tests in hit and miss order. Study subjects chewed gum for an hour in early morning (three 20-minute gum-chewing), they consumed
67 fewer calories at lunch and did not compensate by eating more later in the day.
Men in the research also told the reaction radically less hungry after chewing gum. Melanson also found that chewed gum before and after eating, they finished with reference to 5 percent extra energy than when they did not chew gum. In accumulation, her subjects reported feeling extra energetic later than chewing gum.
"Based on these results, gum chewing integrates energy expenditure and energy intake, and that's what energy balance is about," Melanson said. According to the URI researcher, nerves in the muscles of the jaw are stimulated by the motion of chewing and send signals to the appetite section of the brain that is linked to satiety, which may explain why the act of chewing might help to reduce hunger.
In her study, 35 male and female subjects made two visits to the URI Energy Metabolism Lab after having fasted over night. During one visit, they chewed gum for 20 minutes before consuming a breakfast shake and twice more during the three hours before lunch. During both visits, participants remained as still as possible as measurements were conducted of their resting metabolism rates and blood glucose levels at regular intervals before and after breakfast and lunch. They also conducted periodic self-assessments of their feelings of hunger, energy and other factors during both visits.
"Based on these primary analysis, one could hypothesize that gum chewing may be a useful add-on to a weight management plan."
The study was supported by a $25,000 research award from the Wrigley Science Institute that was offered at some point in the 2007 annual meeting of The Obesity Society.
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