Does gum make you more or less hungry?

Gum is always good to cure bad breath, but it also comes in handy when you’re starving and can’t eat a meal at the time, at least for me. I have always wondered whether chewing gum was a placebo effect in the sense that my jaw was moving so it made my body think that I was eating which in essence made myself less hungry. So I decided to do some research and figure out whether or not gum actually prevented hunger.

I found a Livestrong study published in “Appetite” in 2011, which had two groups; one group chewed gum for 15 minutes after each hour after lunch and the other group did not. Both groups were offered snacks three hours after their lunch. It was found that the group who chewed gum ate 10 percent less snacks than those who didn’t. Which, concluded that the gum chewers were less hungry and had less cravings for sweet and salty snacks.

Another study also in “Appetite” which experimented with this same idea but in 2007, however, found that those who chewed gum still craved salty snacks 3 hours after their lunch. Oddly enough they did not crave the sweet snacks though.

The other possible idea that comes along with whether chewing gum makes you hungrier or not is whether it can make you lose weight by suppressing your appetite or will it make you gain weight. A study was done to investigate gum’s effect on appetite and calorie intake. The study consisted of 60 adults, including 15 lean males, 15 lean females, and 15 obese males and 15 obese females. I thought it was interesting how the study was broken down into 3 parts; the participants either had no gum, the participants chewed soft gum, or the participants chewed hard gum all for 15 minutes. The study concluded that there was no significant effect on whether chewing gum lead to weight loss. Although, interestingly enough, the study found that there was an energy intake decline in lean participants and actually an energy increase in obese participants.

gumbanner

When searching for an image for this post I came across this picture. I think it’s crazy that there is actually a gum created to suppress your appetite. But when I think of the different types of gums, the dessert flavored ones and the starburst flavored ones, etc. actually seem to take away a craving for sweets. It may just be a personal anecdote, but who knows.

5_dessert-gum

The dessert flavored gums are actually all interestingly enough sugar-free, so how would that stop your craving from sugary foods? According to the women’s health magazines, people have claimed that by chewing a piece of a fruity flavored or dessert flavored gum that their cravings for sugary foods are fulfilled. These are all anecdotal studies though. Their should be a study done on whether or not this actually works.

When researching whether or not gum makes you more or less hungry, I found an interesting fact that I didn’t know before. I found that chewing gum can help you overcome cigarette cravings and even improve your memory. There are plenty of studies done on this idea and yes there are studies finding that chewing gum makes you more hungry, but most of the studies I found concluded that gum leads to less of an appetite and in essence helps you lose weight.

Works Cited:

http://www.healthsomeness.com/chewing-gum-weight-loss/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/diet-myth-or-truth-chewing-gum-for-weight-loss#1

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/fight-sugar-cravings

Picture: http://appetiterelief.net/appetite-relief-gum-coming-soon/

http://diet.allwomenstalk.com/healthy-ways-to-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth/5

1 thought on “Does gum make you more or less hungry?

  1. Sarah Elizabeth Read

    I’ve run into this question so many times! More often than not, I catch myself reaching for gum when I haven’t eaten, like on days when I forget to each lunch or when I have to eat a late dinner! Yet I have always wondered if chewing the gum is actually helping my hunger status or not. On another note, you can’t not think about how many muscles you are putting in physically chewing gum. I found a fascinating article about how you can actually burn calories when chewing gum. You’d never think about it, but there are actually a huge number of ways you can burn calories completely passively. Here’s the article: http://www.livestrong.com/article/315274-how-many-calories-does-chewing-gum-burn-per-hour/

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