Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

How Quickly We Eat May Affect Our Weight

eating-fastRecent studies have been examining whether the rate in which we eat influences our weight. In one study, researchers gave women pasta at two different times. The first time, they were told to eat quickly. The second time, they were encouraged to slowly chew each mouthful 15 to 20 times before swallowing. On average, women ate 67 fewer calories when they took time to chew their food. The authors of this study noted that cutting 67 calories at dinner translates into seven pounds of weight loss per year.

Another similar study focused on examining how the speed of eating changes appetite and the rate of which food (energy) in our bodies is used. A calorimeter machine was used to measure how much energy a person burns throughout the day. On the first day, women ate lunch in a total of 10 minutes, on the second day they ate lunch in 20 minutes, and on the third day they ate a 40 minute lunch. Although the results have not yet been published, researchers are hoping to find a link between the speed of eating a meal and how energy is processed and how a person’s appetite changes. If this research shows promise, simply slowing down the rate you eat dinner may result in decreased appetite leading to gradual, sustainable weight loss.

What do you think? Do you think there’s a connection between the pace of eating and weight loss/gain? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Costs of Being Overweight

We know that being overweight or obese can have a significant impact on our physical and emotional health. But, did you know that being overweight can also carry a financial price tag?

The Department of Health Policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Policy recently released a research report entitled “A Heavy Burden: The Individual Costs of Being Overweight and Obese in the United States.” The report, which tallied the annual, incremental costs of overweight and obesity from the individual perspective,  found that the annual overall costs of being obese are  $4,879 for an obese woman and $2,646 for an obese man. This includes medical costs, lost wages, higher work-related costs, and higher costs associated with the purchase of personal goods. For overweight women and men, the incremental annual costs are $524 and $432 respectively.

The report found that the main cost driver for those who are overweight are direct medical costs –  health care costs for an overweight person are $346 higher per year than the health care costs for a normal-weight person. However, lost wages is the main cost driver for obese women.

Today, two out of three Americans are obese or overweight.  If the current trajectory continues, one in two adults will be obese by 2030.

Viewed in this light, participating in a weight loss program can have significant health and financial benefits. When considering the costs of a weight loss program – such as bariatric surgery or a medically-supervised diet – factor in the impact of these programs in reducing your weight as well as the direct costs of being overweight.