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The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/09/12 11:47 PM ET  |  Updated: 05/11/12 12:29 AM ET

Fast Eaters May Have Higher Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Slooooow down, fast eaters!

Research presented at the International Congress of Endocrinology and European Congress of Endocrinology shows that people who eat fast have a 2.5-times higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, compared with slower eaters.

"The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is increasing globally and becoming a world pandemic. It appears to involve interaction between susceptible genetic backgrounds and environmental factors," study researcher Dr. Lina Radzeviciene, of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, said in a statement. "It's important to identify modifiable risk factors that may help people reduce their chances of developing the disease."

For the study, researchers examined the eating habits of 468 people without diabetes and 234 people who had just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Everyone answered a questionnaire, where they explained whether their eating habits were slower, faster, or the same as others. The researchers also noted their waist and hip circumference, height and weight.

After adjusting for other factors like body mass index (BMI, a ratio of height to weight), smoking status, diabetes and education, the researchers found that Type 2 diabetes risk seemed to be linked with eating faster.

This is certainly not the first time research has suggested a link between eating speed and health risks. A previous study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that speed-eaters are more likely to be obese than slow-eaters.

And the faster people ate, the more their BMI rose - 2.8% for each "step" increase on the five-step eating-speed scale (equivalent to an extra 4.3 pounds), researchers found.

For tips on eating mindfully, check out the slideshow before:

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  • Use A Bigger Fork

    A study published in the <em>Journal of Consumer Research</em> shows that restaurant-goers who <a href="http://www.jcr-admin.org/files/pressPDFs/071311193612_mishra.pdf" target="_hplink">eat with really big forks</a> (20 percent bigger than a normal fork you'd find at a restaurant) eat less food and leave more on their plates than people who eat with really small forks. A possible explanation for this finding is that when people use small forks to eat, they feel like they are not making any big <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/15/using-a-big-fork-may-help-you-eat-less/?xid=huffpo-direct" target="_hplink">progress in eating their meal</a> and quelling their hunger pangs, <em>TIME</em> reported. In addition, the restaurant-goers who ate with the smaller forks and were given bigger portions of food at much more food than if they just had the smaller forks or if they just had the bigger portions.

  • Eat From A Smaller Bowl

    Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology shows that people eat 31 percent more ice cream when they eat out of a 34-ounce bowl, rather than 17-ounce one, ScienceDaily reported. Researchers explained that's because people eat about 92 percent of what they serve themselves -- so if you <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060803082602.htm" target="_hplink">serve yourself more, you'll eat more</a>.

  • Get Some Sleep

    Columbia University researchers found that <a href="http://www.thirdage.com/news/sleep-deprivation-may-increase-hunger_3-26-2011" target="_hplink">sleep deprivation can also lead to more calories consumed</a>. They found that women who only got 4 hours sleep the night before ate 329 more calories in a nine-hour period compared with if they weren't sleep deprived, while men ate 263 more calories when <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/sleep-more-lose-weight_b_857080.html" target="_hplink">sleep-deprived</a>. "It has an impact on cognitive restraint," study researcher Marie-Pierre St. Onge told ThirdAge. "High-fat food is tempting, and maybe on <a href="http://www.thirdage.com/news/sleep-deprivation-may-increase-hunger_3-26-2011" target="_hplink">short sleep you can't restrain yourself</a> as well, while on full sleep you can resist more easily."

  • Mind Your Environment

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/02/mindless-eating-environment-location_n_945712.html" target="_hplink">WHERE you eat your food</a> could also factor in to how much you eat and whether you're eating food even though you're not hungry, according to research from the University of Southern California. Researchers had movie-goers say whether they were regular popcorn-eaters or not, and then they had them eat either stale popcorn or freshly popped popcorn. The regular popcorn-eaters ate just as much stale popcorn as fresh popcorn, while people who didn't consider themselves regular popcorn-eaters ate significantly less stale popcorn than fresh since it didn't taste as good. "The results show just how <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/02/mindless-eating-environment-location_n_945712.html" target="_hplink">powerful our environment can be</a> in triggering unhealthy behavior," study researcher David Neal said in a statement. "Sometimes willpower and good intentions are not enough, and we need to trick our brains by controlling the environment instead."

  • Hide The Junk Food

    Research from Cornell University shows that we are three times more likely to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/29/see-first-eat-visible-food_n_984004.html" target="_hplink">eat the first thing that we see</a>, compared with the fifth thing we see. In that study, researchers took photographs of 100 kitchen cupboards and asked the owners to keep records of what they ate. Researchers also tried moving the food around in the cupboards to see if that impacted their food choices -- and found that it did. The research shows that "we end up being masters of our own demise, to some extent," study researcher Professor Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," told HuffPost.

  • Eat Using Your Non-Dominant Hand

    Research published in the <em>Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin</em> shows that <a href="http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/20/overeating-which-hand-are-you-using/" target="_hplink">eating with your non-dominant hand</a> can help you to decrease the amount of food you consume, CNN reported. The finding was part of the same movie-theater/popcorn study, where it was discovered that environment plays a part in mindless eating. Like in that experiment, researchers gave study participants either fresh or stale popcorn. They found that people who used their non-dominant hands and ate the stale popcorn ate 30 percent less than if they used their dominant hands, CNN reported.

  • How to Avoid Mindless Eating

    Food Think with Wansink: Economy-size snacks can cause you to eat more

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