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Chewing Gum Helps Suppress Appetite, Reduce Sugar Cravings

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2011-08-02 07:05

When you are trying to lose weight, every little trick helps, and chewing gum may be one of those tricks. A new study from the University of Leeds found that chewing gum after a meal significantly suppressed appetite and reduced cravings for sweet and salty snacks.

Can chewing gum help you lose weight?

The current study included 60 healthy volunteers (53 women; age range, 18 to 55 years) of normal weight who consumed a standard lunch on four different occasions at a lab. Immediately after eating, the volunteers rated their hunger, appetite, and cravings for sweet and salty snacks hourly for three hours, at which time they returned to the lab for a snack.

During two of the four test sessions, the participants chewed gum for at least 15 minutes at hourly intervals, for a total of at least 45 minutes. On the other two occasions, no gum was chewed. During two of the snack sessions, salty snacks were offered, while sweet snacks were provided during the other two sessions.

The investigators found that chewing gum reduced the weight of the snack consumed by 10 percent when compared with sessions when no gum was chewed. Chewing gum for at least 45 minutes after a meal significantly suppressed appetite, reduced the volunteers’ cravings for sweet and salty snacks, and promoted a feeling of fullness.

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The authors concluded that “If consumers could satisfy cravings and feel less tempted by high energy snacks, gum may be a useful adjunct to weight control.” However, because losing weight takes a long time, they pointed out that “the effects of repeated exposure to gum within a weight loss programme is necessary to assess its influence on weight management within a controlled, clinical trial.”

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