People across the nation have used chewing gum to help them lose weight. It's sort of a logical theory if you think about it: Chew gum instead of food so you won't overindulge and gain weight.
However, according to a recent study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, chewing minty gum has the opposite effect -- or at least it doesn't help anyone lose weight.
The study showed that minty gum makes healthy foods like fruits and vegetables taste odd. Think of the taste you get when you drink a glass of apple juice or orange juice after you brush your teeth. Because those healthy foods taste funny after a stick of gum, chewers gravitate toward other products like chips and cookies instead.
This study conducted several experiments to analyze the food choices gum chewers made in different circumstances.
In the first analysis, 44 people played slot machine games for food. Those chewing minty gum lost motivation to play for fruit. In the second analysis, participants recorded their food intake in a food journal. Those who chewed minty gum before meals and snacks did eat fewer meals. However, these meals lacked the nutrients they needed, and they didn't reduce the number of calories.
A previous study from 2009, funded by Wrigley, revealed that their brand of sugar-free gum helped chewers eat fewer calories throughout the day. The results from this study promoted chewing gum as a method of losing weight; however, new research has revealed the exact opposite.
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The Huffington Post noted that some scientific studies have discovered that the act of chewing gum causes digestive juices to start flowing, in turn causing people to become hungrier.
Other analysts are wary of the accuracy of these results, however. Brett Carter, a food behavior researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, suggests that the results do not show how gum can have a long-term effect on someone's eating habits. As of now, chewing gum has only been shown to affect someone's current eating habits.