Washington: Chewing gum may not help people eat less or lose weight, a new research has claimed.
In fact, the study, suggests that chewing gum may make people eat chips, cookies and candy instead of fruits and veggies, as menthol - chemical responsible for the minty-fresh flavour of some gums - makes fruits and veggies taste funny.
Christine Swoboda, a doctoral candidate in nutrition at Ohio State University Swoboda and her colleague Jennifer Temple of the University at Buffalo asked 44 volunteers to play a slotmachine-style game in exchange for food.
Some of the people who participated in the experiment played for mandarin oranges or grapes, while others played for potato chips or M and M`s.
Before playing the game, half of the participants chewed either Juicy Fruit gum or Wrigley`s Spearmint gum.
Those who chewed the minty gum significantly played less as long for the fruit, suggesting that they were less motivated to get them when chewing gum.
In a second experiment, the researchers asked participants to keep a food journal recording of what they ate. Some of the time, the participants were asked to chew a mint green-tea gum before every meal and snack for a week, while other times, they simply recorded their food consumption.
When chewing gum, participants ate fewer meals but that didn`t translate into fewer calories: Instead, people were actually getting fewer nutrients in their diet and about the same amount of calories.
Swoboda said that it could be that the menthol in mint, which interacts with nutrients in fruits and veggies to create a bitter flavour, was turning people off healthy foods.
The study has been published in the journal Eating Behavior.