Ever wonder why men finish their meals faster than women? No? Maybe? Well, Munchies reported on a recent study by Soojin Park and Weon-Sun Shin that show men eat with more “chewing power” than women and take larger bites, resulting in a clean plate in a shorter amount of time.
The research, published in the medical journal Physiology & Behavior, began as a study looking into people's chewing patterns and its relationship to weight, but the results yielded something quite different. The team of researchers took 24 male and 24 female students from the Semyung University in South Korea — a pretty small study group. The participants were hooked up with electrodes in their jaws to measure chewing patterns and muscle activity while they ate. The researchers then served the participants 152 grams of boiled white rice. This allowed the researchers to measure the amount of food they took in at once, chews per mouthful, amount of force behind those chews, length of time to complete the meal, and so on.
The results showed the men took larger bites than women and chewed with more force, which translated into faster food consumption compared to the women. The female participants, however, chewed at the same pace as men, but chewed each mouthful more times before swallowing.
There is some dispute as to whether these results are valid. Munchies referenced an article in The New Yorker that disputes the researchers' claims that there's a difference between the eating patterns in men and women, writing that another study saw no difference in gum chewing between men and women. But then again, people's approach to food may be different than a non-consumable piece of gum.
Of course, further research is necessary in order to confirm these results.
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