While lip-smacking and bubble-blowing might offend the mild-mannered, the benefits of chewing gum might just blow their socks off. Studies suggest chewing gum can help control appetite, causing people to consume fewer calories throughout the day Hetherington, M.M and Regan, M.F. Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, UK. Appetite 2011 Jun; 57(2): 475 – 482. Hetherington, M.M. and Boyland, E. Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. Appetite 2001 May; 48(3): 397-401.. So keep on chomping, no matter what gets in the way.

Chew On This — The Takeaway

Photo by Nicole Fara Silver

Research suggests chewing gum does more than temporarily . One study found that those who chewed gum after lunch reported lower appetite and cravings for sweet and salty snacks Hetherington, M.M and Regan, M.F. Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, UK. Appetite 2011 Jun; 57(2): 475 – 482.. And those who chewed gum consumed up to 10 percent less than non-gum-chewers come snack time Hetherington, M.M and Regan, M.F. Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, UK. Appetite 2011 Jun; 57(2): 475 – 482.. Other research has also linked chewing gum to decreased hunger between meals Hetherington, M.M. and Boyland, E. Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. Appetite 2001 May; 48(3): 397-401..

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not gum’s flavor or some hard core that keeps chewers satisfied. When people pop in a stick of gum, they’re associated with eating, including chewing, tasting, salivating, and swallowing Lavin, J.H., French, S.J., Ruxton C.H., et al. Slimming World, Derbyshire, UK. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders 2002 March; 26(3): 384-388.. This type of stimulation helps temporarily convince the stomach that it’s full. Talk about trick gum!

In addition to calming cravings and cleaning up a , chewing gum might also help , which have consistently been cited as possible causes of overeating Moss, S.J. Journal of the Indian Society of Predodontics and Preventive Dentistry 2008; 26: S51-S52. Torres, S.J., Nowson, C.A. Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia. Nutrition. 2007 Nov-Dec;23(11-12):887-94. Epub 2007 Sep 17.. So the next time hunger strikes, consider reaching for a stick of gum over a stack of Pringles. Just be weary of sugar-loaded brands which can contribute to cavities and tooth decay Toors, F.A. Revue Belge de Medecine Dentaire 1992;47(3):67-92.. And for those with a history of jaw discomfort, be sure to avoid chewing too vigorously or it's possible a could crop up.

Tip

Rather than chowing down on snacks, try chewing gum between meals to reduce hunger and calorie consumption.