The research analysed just under 60,000 Japanese people with diabetes who had frequent health check-ups between 2008 and 2013. The researchers wanted to see if eating speed and some other eating behaviours, such as snacking after dinner, affected obesity.
The findings make sense, say the researchers. Experts say that when we eat quickly, our bodies don't have time to register the hormonal changes that signal when we are full.
This may be due to the fact that the satiety signal takes some time to travel from the stomach to the brain, and may arrive only after the fast eater has already consumed more than enough.
Where did the story come from?
The study was covered uncritically, but with reasonable accuracy in The Times, The Sun and the Mail Online.
"That said, speed eating appears to be far more deleterious", Heller said. They interviewed nearly 60,000 type 2 diabetes patients about their eating habits and then analyzed the data.
Previous research has linked eating quickly to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.
It should also be noted the researchers didn't look at energy intake or physical activity levels, which could affect the results.
What did the research involve?
They wrote: 'Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks'.More news: Zuma faces deadline to leave office today
The World Health Organization considers those with a body mass index (BMI), a body mass-to-height ratio, of 25 to be overweight and those with a BMI of 30 or higher to be obese.
A lot of people complain about how they can't lose weight no matter what they do. It is also considered important dietary advice to not eat after the evening meal, or in the two hours before bedtime.
Various eating habits also increased risk of obesity. "Those who naturally eat slowly may be attending to their body's cues for fullness, and eat a more appropriate portion during each eating occasion", Nina Crowley, Ph.D., a registered dietitian nutritionist and health psychologist working at the Medical University of SC, told CBS News.
People who didn't regularly eat snacks after dinner were 15% less likely to be obese (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.8 to 0.9). "In America, speed eating takes the lead".
The scale of the obesity crisis means that any findings that help people to avoid obesity are welcome.
When eating too quickly, there's more chance that these hormones won't get the chance to work properly, Rebecca, who is a Nutritional Therapist, said.
The study didn't assess people's socioeconomic group, which might have had an effect.
According to that data, eating faster had an impact on people's weight compared to the people who ate at a normal speed. More than 33,400 said they ate at "normal" speed.
There may be limits to how the findings apply to the United Kingdom, in terms of the population diet, lifestyle and risk factors for obesity.
The study linked those simple changes to a smaller waist, and lower rates of obesity and overweight. That means the results may not translate directly.
Slow eating is characteristic of a more mindful approach.
People looking to lose weight might try all kinds of ways to eat fewer calories.
Are you still struggling to shed the weight from the holidays?