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Fast eating women more likely to get fat: New Zealand research

(Xinhua)

15:22, August 30, 2011

WELLINGTON, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Middle-aged women who wolf down their meals are much more likely to be overweight or obese than women who eat slower, New Zealand research has found.

In what they claimed to be the first such nationwide study anywhere, Otago University researchers analyzed the relationship between self-reported speed of eating and body mass index (BMI) in more than 1,500 New Zealand women aged 40 to 50, an age group known to be at high risk of weight gain.

The study by the university's department of human nutrition could lead to new and more successful methods of treating obesity, say the researchers.

Study principal investigator Dr Caroline Horwath said that after adjusting for factors such as age, ethnicity, smoking, physical activity and menopause status, the researchers found that the faster women reported eating, the higher their BMI.

Results from the two-year follow-up were expected to be published next year, and if analysis confirmed a causal relationship, the researchers would test interventions that focused on encouraging women to eat more slowly.

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