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Eating Styles Linked to Increased Risk of Overweight

Tripled risk observed among adults who report eating until full and eating quickly

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who eat until full or eat quickly have a doubled risk of being overweight, and those who report both behaviors have a tripled risk, according to research published Oct. 21 in BMJ Online First.

Koutatsu Maruyama, a student at the Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University in Japan, and colleagues studied 3,287 adults aged 30 to 69, including 1,122 men and 2,165 women, who participated in surveys on cardiovascular risk between 2003 and 2006.

The researchers found that more than half of the subjects (50.9 percent of men and 58.4 percent of women) reported eating until full and that more than one-third of the subjects (45.6 percent of men and 36.3 percent of women) reported eating quickly. Their analysis showed that eating until full was associated with an increased risk of overweight (adjusted odds ratios, 2.0 for men and 1.92 for women), as was eating too quickly (adjusted odds ratios, 1.84 for men and 2.09 for women). In subjects who reported both behaviors, the analysis showed an even stronger association with overweight (adjusted odds ratios, 3.13 for men and 3.21 for women).

"Clinicians should recognize that behavioral counseling, using cognitive therapy, can help in the management of this aggressively 'eat more' food environment," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Evidence suggests that adults can successfully modify their speed of eating and in turn their energy intake. Furthermore, adults are likely to be responsive to monitoring feedback regarding feelings of fullness. Helping patients to increase their daily physical activity will further reduce energy imbalance."

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