Objective: This cohort study investigated the association between eating speed and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged Japanese men.
Materials/methods: Participants were 2,050 male employees of a metal products factory in Japan. We measured self-reported categorical eating speed. The incidence of diabetes was determined in annual medical examinations over a 7-year period. The association between eating speed and the incidence of diabetes adjusted for multiple variables (age, family history of diabetes, smoking, alcohol drinking, habitual exercise, and presence of hypertension and hyperlipidemia) was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: The prevalence of obesity (BMI≥25 kg/m(2)) across the categories of eating speed (slow, medium, and fast) was 14.6, 23.3, and 34.8%, respectively, and a faster eating speed was associated with a higher prevalence of obesity. During the study, 177 participants developed diabetes. Crude incidence rates (/1,000 person-years) across the three categories of eating speed were 9.9, 15.6, and 17.3, respectively. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) across the categories were 1.00 (reference), 1.68 (0.93-3.02), and 1.97 (1.10-3.55), respectively, and eating speed was associated with the risk of diabetes (p for trend=0.030). After further adjustment for BMI, a significant association was not observed.
Conclusions: Eating speed was associated with the incidence of diabetes. Since these associations were not significant after adjusting for BMI, eating speed may act via its effect on body weight. Eating speed is a controllable risk factor, and eating slowly could be an acceptable lifestyle intervention for the prevention of diabetes mellitus.
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