A new study found that chewing gum doesn’t help weight loss.
Once people spit out their gum, they eat just as much as those who don’t chew, and gum-chewers usually turn to unhealthier food options after, according to the study.
Yvonne Beeler, program director for the local Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center, said there are no dietary benefits to chewing gum.
“Chewing gum alone is not going to help you lose weight,” she said. “It is just a strategy while you’re doing other things to lose weight, to make sure you don’t sit there and eat something else you shouldn’t really be eating.”
People who are trying to lose weight should focus more on being active and making better choices with food and portions, Beeler said.
“Whenever you know you’re not really hungry, but you have the urge to eat, then that is when you would chew gum,” she said.
In fact, according to the study, chewing gum may lead to nutritional deficiencies because menthol from gum makes healthier foods taste bitter.
In the study, people were instructed to chew minty gum before snacks and meals for a week. Food diaries revealed gum-chewers ate fewer but larger meals that were less nutritious than meals nongum -chewers ate.
Bianca Aldana has heard myths of chewing gum as a dieting trick.
“It probably wouldn’t have that much of an affect as opposed to working out and actually eating healthier,” the 21-year-old UF psychology junior said.