Recent research indicates that chewing behavior may influence energy intake and energy expenditure. However, little is known about the relationship between chewing behavior and body weight status. In the present study, 64 fully dentate normal-weight or overweight/obese adults were asked to consume five portions of a test food and the number of chewing cycles, chewing duration before swallowing and chewing rate were measured. Adjusting for age and gender, normal-weight participants used a higher number of chewing cycles (p = 0.003) and a longer chewing duration (p < 0.001) to consume each portion of the food, compared to overweight/obese participants. However, there was no significant difference in their chewing rate (p = 0.597). A statistically significant negative correlation between body mass index and the number of chewing cycles (r = -0.296, p = 0.020) and chewing duration (r = -0.354, p = 0.005) was observed. In conclusion, these results suggest that chewing behavior is associated with body weight status in fully dentate healthy adults.
Keywords: Body weight; dentate; ingestive behavior; mastication; obesity; overweight.