Does Chewing Gum Curb Your Appetite?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/16/2011 6:00 PM   :  121 comments   :  26,340 Views

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Over the years, I've had an "on and off" addiction to chewing gum.  It seems like I go through phases, where I go through packs of gum like a smoker goes through packs of cigarettes.  Then other times I kind of lose interest and stop buying it completely.  My reason is more that I just like having something to keep me occupied.  But a new study says chewing gum could actually help curb your appetite.  Do you agree?
 
The study, published in the journal Appetite, found that chewing gum for at least 45 minutes can promote hunger and suppress cravings.  Sixty healthy participants who regularly chew gum "were asked to rate hunger, appetite and cravings for sweet and salty snacks every hour for three hours."  During this period, participants chewed gum for 15 minutes per hour.  The experiment was then repeated with no gum chewing.  Researchers found that when snacks were offered, those who had chewed gum ate an average of 10 percent less than those who did not.
 
It's important to note that this study was funded in-part by the Wrigley Science Institute (as in Wrigley's chewing gum.)  In another Wrigley-funded study, when participants "chewed gum for a total of one hour in the morning (three, 20-minute gum-chewing sessions), they consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and did not compensate by eating more later in the day."  Although 67 calories per day doesn't sound like much, it can add up to almost 7 pounds over the course of a year.
 
Coach Nicole blogged a few years ago about how gum helps curb her candy cravings.  I don't think it changes how much I eat over the course of the day, but I could see how it might help some people avoid snacking.    
 
Do you find that chewing gum curbs your appetite?  Why or why not?  Would the results of this study be enough to convince you to try it?


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Comments

  • 121
    If I'm truly hungry, it just makes it worse, but it works great (for me) for curbing cravings, like sweets after a meal or when I just want to mindlessly eateateat out of restlessness. Being able to chew gum instead helps. - 4/23/2012   10:23:03 AM
  • 120
    I THINK GUM HELPS ME, AND IT JUST HAPPENED BY ACCIDENT.MY HUSBAND HEARD ME SPEAK OF "BEEMENS" GUM AND FOUND ME SOME AT AN OLD FASHIONED CANDY STORE. WELL, I FIND MYSELF REACHING FOR IT, ALMOST LIKE A DESERT OR SNACK. IT KEEPS ITS FLAVOR AND I ENJOY THE CHEWING AND DRINKING WATER COMBO!!I MAKE SURE I TRACK IT, AND LIMIT THE AMOUNT TO 1-3 STICKS A DAY. I ALSO LIKE THE NEW FLAVORS OF "DESERT" GUM. I THINK GUM AT THE END OF A MEAL FOR ME SAYS, YOU ARE NOW DONE EATING. HEY, WHATEVER WORKS. - 10/27/2011   12:08:43 AM
  • 119
    Gum doesn't work for me because of the mess, but I found sugar-free Altoids. They are tiny but have a lot of flavor with nothing to throw away afterward. - 8/29/2011   9:21:37 AM
  • PRUSSIANETTE
    118
    I don't think it curbs my appetitie, but it does prevent me from eating as much since it is difficult to eat food and chew gum at the same time. :) It also has other benefits as it stimulates saliva which contains enzymes for digestion. Although a previous poster indicates it exacerbates her GERD, I find it actually helps mine.

    And lastly, I chew Peelu gum, which I had read was good for dental health. It has xylitol and some kind of fiber it. The fiber is supposed to act a little like a toothbrush, and the xylitol is supposed to trick the bacteria in your mouth into believing it is sugar so the bacteria try to consume, but since it is not sugar, the bacteria doesn't survive as long. Does it work? Well, initially I didn't think so, but the last two dentist visits I had, they remarked how white my teeth were and asked me if I had been using some of whitening/bleaching product, which I have not. And, I drink coffee and tea every day, so I guess it does work for me, just took a while to "make it happen". - 8/28/2011   9:23:31 AM
  • 117
    I chew gum quite often while I'm working. It's not ideal, but it has its uses. It often keeps me from succumbing to impulsive snacking, and it helps keep me from relapsing into nail biting. I stopped biting my nails over 20 years ago, but a jagged edge, or a broken nail or cuticle can trigger it if I don't have a nail file or clippers handy.

    It doesn't reduce my appetite, but it distracts me and keeps me busy when I might otherwise be eating. - 8/27/2011   8:22:49 PM
  • BAMAJAM
    116
    I love chewing gum, the peppermint kind, one half stick! It gives my mouth a fresh feeling. I chew quietly, with my mouth closed. However, I have seen so many chomp on gum with open mouth--not cool. This kind of "chomping" drives my husband crazy..ha! He once joked... "Do you know the difference between a person chewing gum and a cow chewing cud?" Answer: "The intelligent look on the cow's face!" - 8/25/2011   3:10:37 PM
  • 115
    I wish I could chew gum but can't because I wind up biting the insides of my cheeks :( - 8/23/2011   11:36:49 PM
  • 114
    I'm a believer! I grab for gum @ work. When I have a fruit or a handful of no-salt pretzels for a snack, I usually want to keep eating. That's when I grab the gum...and it signals me to keep chewing, but stop eating. - 8/23/2011   10:00:22 PM
  • SWEETPOTATO1
    113
    I love chewing my gum. I chew orbit or 5gum. Some say chewing gum keeps your stomach bloated because of the artifical sweetners. I don't know how true but i got to have my gum!!!! - 8/23/2011   9:39:49 PM
  • 112
    I agree that it stimulates your appetite. I can never just chew one piece, I have stick after stick and soon enough 1/2 the pack is gone! So I guess it is addicting to me. - 8/22/2011   7:52:48 AM
  • 111
    Cinnamon-flavored gum works for me in a lot of ways: keeps my mouth busy, helps freshen breath, and keeps me from eating the chocolate (I work in a candy store!) - 8/21/2011   5:15:27 PM
  • FORTUNATEWIFE
    110
    I have to be careful with sugar free gum. If you have vertigo too much aspartame can trigger dizziness. I used to go through packs a day and couldnt figure out why I kept falling. But once I stopped chewing gum I stopped getting dizzy. - 8/21/2011   1:18:08 PM
  • HOMEMKR
    109
    Like many here, it does help me keep my mouth busy! So instead of chewing on a cookie or something no so good for me, gum helps me to re-think my food choices. - 8/21/2011   8:37:13 AM
  • 108
    Don't know if it is an appetite suppressant. I've heard it isn't.

    I do chew 1/2 a piece when I am teaching, otherwise my mouth is very very dry. I
    I park it on a tooth. I don't normally chew in front of them, avoiding the cud -like characteristic. - 8/21/2011   5:54:03 AM
  • 107
    I definetly find that chewing gum,stimulates my appetite.No Thank-you. - 8/20/2011   2:49:57 PM
  • DARLAD8
    106
    I chew a lot of gum and I believe it actually stimulates my appetite. I've never thought about how it might affect the sensation of "craving" per se, but I am definitely aware of an increased feeling of hunger--even if I chew gum after a big meal. I think the chewing stimulates the digestive juices, and causes the body to want/expect some food. In the short term (like the first 15-minutes, while the sweetness is still being released), I imagine it might temporarily distract me from the urge to consume a sweet goodie, but once that taste has worn off, I'm left with nothing but a growling stomach. Nonetheless, I am a constant gum chewer--and it's a heck of a lot better than smoking, eh. - 8/20/2011   10:44:16 AM
  • 105
    This has been my strategy for about a year. We have a chocolate drawer at work and after breakfast, I routinely chew sugar free gum. It keeps me from snacking in the chocolate. - 8/20/2011   6:43:36 AM
  • 104
    I have gotten used to a low sugar diet, and the sugar free gum makes me kinda sick. Too sweet, so no...it doesn't curb my appetite. - 8/20/2011   2:38:21 AM
  • 103
    I have used gum or even just mints to keep me from eating. It does make me less hungry and makes me not want to ruin the minty fresh flavor with food. - 8/19/2011   11:41:41 PM
  • 102
    The "Extra Dessert Delights" gum is WONDERFUL. I'd rather have a stick of the Key Lime flavor than the real thing (seriously). - 8/19/2011   7:11:35 PM
  • SUPERMOMX
    101
    Chewing gum helps me avoid boredom eating... if I can keep my hands and mouth busy with something else, I find small cravings disappear! I will chew gum while I surf the internet, knit, text with friends, etc. It keeps my hands and mouth busy doing something other than eat! - 8/19/2011   3:05:46 PM
  • 100
    Like yourself, friends tell me I'm 'addicted' to gum. I don't think I'm sooo bad, but honestly I think it makes a difference. I'm less likely to snack between meals, and lets be honest, after having a minty flavor in your mouth, you're probably less likely to spit out gum and immediately eat that treat sitting there. - 8/19/2011   11:46:38 AM
  • 99
    Like yourself, friends tell me I'm 'addicted' to gum. I don't think I'm sooo bad, but honestly I think it makes a difference. I'm less likely to snack between meals, and lets be honest, after having a minty flavor in your mouth, you're probably less likely to spit out gum and immediately eat that treat sitting there. - 8/19/2011   11:46:38 AM
  • 98
    Like yourself, friends tell me I'm 'addicted' to gum. I don't think I'm sooo bad, but honestly I think it makes a difference. I'm less likely to snack between meals, and lets be honest, after having a minty flavor in your mouth, you're probably less likely to spit out gum and immediately eat that treat sitting there. - 8/19/2011   11:46:29 AM
  • MASHAE99
    97
    Gum works for me, especially while comuting back and forth to work. I also keeps me awake for the ride. - 8/19/2011   12:34:52 AM
  • 96
    tough call...I grind my teeth at night and sometimes my jaws pop if I chew. Also, I found I swallow a ton of air - not always - but sometimes, and it makes me so uncomfortable, I am constantly burping. However, I've been stressed at work, and found myself stuffing one piece after another as the flavor wears out and looks like a pack of cigarettes on my desk. So at least it has been helping me not reach for a snack which I found I DO tend to do when something has me stressed @ work. Better than eating...but a lot of negatives too!! - 8/18/2011   6:11:31 PM
  • STARDUSTD
    95
    I actually heard that chewing gum stimulates your appetite. I personally turn to chewing a lot of sugar-free gum at times when I'm struggling with non- hunger-based snacking. - 8/18/2011   11:43:42 AM
  • 94
    It works for me is all I can say. - 8/18/2011   10:49:51 AM
  • 93
    After teaching elementary school for 30 years, gum chewing is still out! - 8/18/2011   9:29:05 AM
  • 92
    I deffentlly bleave that it helps me not snack because I have my mouth busy with the gum. I already bleaved that gum was an appitite suppresent and now I'm a 99.9% bleaver. - 8/18/2011   1:46:41 AM
  • 91
    I ALSO QUIT SMOKING WITH PLAIN OLE GUM. AND I AM NOW USING IT TO REPLACE CANDY AND SALTY SNACKS. IT'S NEW TO ME SO AT TIMES IT WORKS REALLY WELL AND AT TIMES I JUST GIVE IN TO TEMPTATIONS. - 8/17/2011   10:30:28 PM
  • DSSCHINNER
    90
    I'm not sure that it curbs my hunger, but I have found that mint gum perks me up if I get drowsy at work, & the 'fresh mouth" feeling keeps me from snacking as much. - 8/17/2011   9:03:16 PM
  • ALLIB22
    89
    i think it helps but i have a bad habit of eating it in 10 minutes then going thru a pack in a day lol - 8/17/2011   8:19:01 PM
  • 88
    Not sure that gum chewing helps curb my appetite, but I have a habit of chewing 1/2 a piece after lunch and/or dinner. After chewing the gum, I don't go back and have any more food. I used to chew gum at work when I was working on a particularly difficult task (on the computer). It helped keep my mind off of eating. I always chew sugarless gum. - 8/17/2011   7:45:55 PM
  • TRYINGHARD1948
    87
    I can't eat gum. - 8/17/2011   7:18:19 PM
  • 86
    Just the other night at the grocery store, I was tempted to buy a candy bar to curb a negative emotion but instead I bought gum. After I chewed the gum, I no longer craved candy. - 8/17/2011   6:55:22 PM
  • 85
    Well, I was tempted to give it a try even though I'm not keen on it, but then saw MOM2ACAT's reply and being a GERD sufferer too - no thanks!

    Sue - 8/17/2011   6:44:50 PM
  • 84
    I do not chew gum and I very much dislike seeing people chew gum - especially if they periodically 'crack' it. - 8/17/2011   5:54:46 PM
  • JULIA1154
    83
    It doesn't curb my appetite at all but instead seems to stimulate it. - 8/17/2011   4:56:17 PM
  • 82
    I have GERD and chewing gum just makes it worse.
    I think gum is gross anyway. - 8/17/2011   2:33:24 PM
  • 81
    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. It does NOT work. Chewing gum makes me even hungrier. UGH. I don't do gum anymore. - 8/17/2011   2:31:12 PM
  • ILENEJ
    80
    Yes, I chew gum it helps me when I am craving something and don't what it is. I like Extra, they have the dessert gum and if I want something sweet that satisfies me. - 8/17/2011   2:26:57 PM
  • 79
    I cannot chew gum, it gives me a stomachache - 8/17/2011   2:00:50 PM
  • 78
    I am not a candy lover and find gum just too sweet. I also find that the increased sweet saliva irritates my stomach and seems to promote either hunger or perhaps the urge for something to coat the irritation. - 8/17/2011   1:11:40 PM
  • 77
    One of my bad habits is eating when my mouth is bored. Gum helps keep it occupied. :) - 8/17/2011   12:52:37 PM
  • 76
    Mint flavored gums tend to anesthetize my mouth and I'll use it while cooking to keep from nibbling. Sweet gums tend to make me more hungry, but I'll use them when hiking and I don't have access to food. - 8/17/2011   12:37:04 PM
  • 75
    For me, it's better that I pop in a tasty piece of gum, rather than a delicious and super-fattening piece of chocolate cake...hmmmmm--it IS break time now... - 8/17/2011   12:33:27 PM
  • 74
    Peppermint gum seems to curb my appetite. If I get hunger pains in the car (and I know I've eaten), I'll pop in a piece of gum and that usually satisfies. I was also in the habit of having a piece of chocolate after lunch. I replaced that, too, with peppermint gum. It won't do the trick if your belly is truly empty but if it's just a craving and "wanting" something rather than "needing" something, gum will often do the trick. Gotta love sugar free gum!! - 8/17/2011   11:53:42 AM
  • 73
    Chewing gum definitely works for me. If Im chewing gum, I am not mindlessly eating. If I get a craving for something sweet, I will chew gum first and it usually curbs that craving...I live the fresh breath too! ;) - 8/17/2011   11:52:46 AM
  • 72
    I think gum helps me! I have at least 5 flavors to cover any craving - sweet, fruity ones, the dessert gums, and minty and cinnamon flavors.

    My favorite is Extra Polar Ice and 5 Flare. - 8/17/2011   11:44:50 AM

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