Chewing Gum For Dessert Burns Calories?

sharma-obesity-chewing-gumThe answer is yes, but before anyone gets too excited, the range of extra calories burnt with 15 mins of chewing is about 6-11 kcal.

These are the findings from a rather interesting study by Yuka Hamada and colleagues from Tokyo, published in OBESITY, which actually studied the effect of fast vs. slow chewing (with or without 15 mins of gum chewing after the meal) on substrate utilization, splanchnic blood flow and diet-induced thermogenesis.

The 12 healthy normal-weight males, on four different days, were asked to chew a 621-kcal test meal for as long as possible as many times as possible in the slow-eating trials, while they consumed the same meal as rapidly as possible in the rapid-eating trials. In the gumchewing trials, the subjects chewed a 3-kcal gum for 15 min after the meal. In the non-gumchewing trials, they consumed 3 kcal of sugar with the test meal instead of chewing the gum.

With both slow eating (~650 chews) and fast eating (~235 chews), gum chewing added about 850 chews to the eating episode.

In both cases, the additional chewing of gum added about 6-11 extra calories to post-prondial thermogenesis (largely due to increased protein oxidation), an effect that lasted about 45 minutes after the meal (so well into after the actual chewing). Gum chewing did not change splanchnic blood flow.

As the authors note, the gum chewing increased post-prandial thermogenesis in the fast meal but this increase was not greater than the additional calories burnt from chewing with the slow meal.

Thus, while you would actually burn the most extra calories by eating as slow while chewing each bite as often as possible, this may be hard to do in real life (chewing habits are notoriously difficult to change).

You’re second best bet would be to add 15 mins of gum chewing after the meal, especially when you inhaled our food.

Will this help you lose weight?

Probably not – but a few extra calories burnt everyday may well ward off weight gain (although just how much, is anyone’s guess).

If you have any experience with how gum chewing has affected your eating behaviour, I’d love to hear about it.

Edmonton, AB