As far as tools for weight loss go, dieters across the US have long put so much faith into chewing gum as a means by which to cut down the calories. After all, it’s pretty much calorie-free, it physically prevents you from eating at the time, chewing has the potential to burn at least a few calories per hour and some even see gum as an appetite suppressant.
So, weight loss gold in a tasty and minty form, right?
Wrong…or so it would appear.
According to the results of a new study carried out at Ohio State University, as soon as a person chewing a stick of gum discards it, they resume their standard eating habits and consumer just as many calories as they would if they’d never bothered with the gum at all. And perhaps worse still, along with perhaps offering no benefits whatsoever in terms of weight loss, the study also brought to light the potential for gum to breed certain nutritional deficiencies.
By taking a look at the food diaries of dozens of participants of which half were instructed to chew gum, those who did so were found to eat fewer meals each day, though larger meals with higher calorie contents and fewer essential nutrients. What’s more, the study even went so far as to suggest that gum chewers are inherently less likely to eat sufficient quantities of fresh fruit during the course of a day, which was attributed in part to the unpleasant taste mint chewing gum lends to sweet fruits if consumed in fast succession.
Those behind the study were keen to stress the point that gum chewing isn’t in any way a negative or detrimental habit, but in accordance with the findings shouldn’t be depended upon as a tool for guaranteed weight loss. And what’s more, ‘serial’ gum chewers might be well-advised to keep track of their eating and snacking habits to make sure that there innocent sweet-treat isn’t in fact robbing them of something they really need.