The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Eating fast is bad for you—right?

By Katherine J. Wu

22 May 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Eating fast has been associated with higher calorie intake, higher weight, high blood pressure and diabetes.

For as long as I have been feeding myself—which, for the record, is several decades now—I have been feeding myself fast. I bite big, in rapid succession; my chews are hasty and few. In the time it takes others to get through a third of their meal, mine is already gone. You could reasonably call my approach to eating pneumatic, reminiscent of a suction-feeding fish or a Roomba run amok.

Where my vacuuming mouth goes, advice to constrain it follows. Internet writers have declared slowness akin to slimness; self-described “foodies” lament that there’s “nothing worse” than watching a guest inhale a painstakingly prepared meal. There are even children’s songs that warn against the perils of eating too fast. My family and friends—most of whom have long since learned to avoid “splitting” entrees with me—often comment on my speed. “Slow down,” one of my aunts fretted at a recent meal. “Don’t you know that eating fast is bad for you?”

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