Chewing Gum Doesn’t Lead To Weight Loss, Study Suggests


Contrary to popular diet advice, chewing gum may not help people eat less or lose weight, new research suggests.
Chewing gum may lead people to eat chips, cookies and candy instead of fruits and veggies. That’s because menthol, the chemical responsible for the minty-fresh flavor of some types of gum makes fruits and veggies taste funny. The chemical change is the same reason why when you brush your teeth and then drink orange juice, it tastes bad.
Weight-loss aid?
Chewing gum can aid test performance, and xylitol-sweetened gum may reduce ear infections in children. And because it may evoke thoughts of food and get digestive juices flowing, some people hypothesized that chewing gum could make people hungrier.
Bad Taste
To find out,44 participants volunteered to be part of a slot machine-style game in exchange for food. Some of the participants played for mandarin oranges or grapes, while others played for potato chips or M&Ms.Prior to playing the game, half of the participants chewed either Juicy Fruit gum or Wrigley’s Spearmint gum. Those who chewed the minty gum were significantly less likely to play as long for the fruit, suggesting they were less motivated to get them when chewing gum. The fruity gum showed a smaller effect that wasn’t statistically significant. In a second experiment, the researchers asked participants to keep a food journal recording what they ate. Some of the time, the participants were asked to chew a mint green-tea gum before every meal and snack for a week, while other times, they simply had to record their food intake. When chewing gum, participants ate fewer meals. But that didn’t translate into fewer calories: Instead, people were actually getting fewer nutrients in their diet and about the same amount of calories.
It could be that the menthol in mint, which interacts with nutrients in fruits and veggies to create a bitter flavor, was turning people off to the healthy foods, People ate less fruits and vegetables, because in their head, they thought ‘I have to chew gum before every meal do I really want a snack of grapefruit?.

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