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Eating fast has been associated with a fivefold increase in likelihood of developing symptoms that indicate an increased risk of suffering cardiac arrest. New research from scientists in Japan found that not only are people less likely to be overweight if they eat at a mindful pace but they also discovered that it reduced people’s risk of contracting metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to a number of health issues, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and excess body fat around the waist. These symptoms are linked with a number of health complications, including strokes, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The scientists looked at the habits of more than 1,000 middle-aged men and women for a period of five years and monitored both their health and eating speed. 

The Japanese discovered that just 2.3 per cent of people who ate slowly suffered from metabolic syndrome. This was compared to a figure of 11.6 per cent of people who were considered fast eaters. Essentially, fast eaters were found to be five times more likely than slow eaters to develop metabolic syndrome. The Japanese also found that fast eaters were more than three times more likely to have gained 20kg over the five-year period.

Previous studies have shown that eating too fast means that the brain is unable to let the body know that it has consumed too many calories. It can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which can prevent insulin from working effectively.

Dr Takayuki Yamaji, study author and cardiologist at Hiroshima University in Japan believes that eating slowly is a vital lifestyle change for people looking to reduce their risk of developing metabolic syndrome. 

Referring to the findings in the The Telegraph, Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said, “If anything, it’s a reminder that many of us have hectic lifestyles which may include eating quickly at the desk over lunchtime, or in a rush commuting home.” 

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017.