CHEWING food slowly can cut the risk of obesity by a third, a study suggests.
People who ate their meals at a "normal” rate were 29 per cent less likely to be dangerously fat than those who wolfed down their nosh.
Those who ate slowest cut their chances by 42 per cent.
The reason, say researchers, is it takes about 20 minutes for our gut to tell our brain we are full - putting those who eat quickly at the greatest risk of overeating.
The study also suggests rushed workers who gobble down snacks and sandwiches at lunch are fuelling the obesity epidemic.
Experts say we should aim to eat main meals in 20 minutes and take at least 10 for snacks.
Tips on how to do so include chewing your food double the number of times you currently do so and putting down your knife and fork between bites.
Researchers at Japan's Kyushu University studied 60,000 diabetics over six years, getting them to record whether they ate quickly, slowly or at normal speed.
Those who consumed their food slowly lost 0.41cm from their waistline compared with the fastest eaters.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "People see lunch as a quick meal that can be stuffed down.
"Not only are they likely to be eating unhealthy processed foods, they are also likely to be eating too much of it.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.