Eating Speed, Eating Frequency, and Their Relationships with Diet Quality, Adiposity, and Metabolic Syndrome, or Its Components

Nutrients. 2021 May 15;13(5):1687. doi: 10.3390/nu13051687.


Excess body weight is a major global health concern, particularly due to its associated increased health risks. Several strategies have been proposed to prevent overweight and obesity onset. In the past decade, it has been suggested that eating speed/rate and eating frequency might be related to obesity. The main aim of this narrative review was to summarize existing evidence regarding the impact of eating speed/rate and eating frequency on adiposity, metabolic syndrome (MetS), or diet quality (DQ). For this purpose, a literature search of observational and interventional trials was conducted between June and September 2020 in PubMed and Web of Sciences databases, without any data filters and no limitations for publication date. Results suggest that children and adults with a faster eating speed/rate may be associated with a higher risk of developing adiposity, MetS or its components. Furthermore, a higher eating frequency could be associated with diet quality improvement, lower adiposity, and lower risk of developing MetS or its components. Further interventional trials are warranted to clarify the mechanism by which these eating behaviors might have a potential impact on health.

Keywords: BMI; MetS; adiposity; eating behaviors; eating frequency; eating rate; eating speed; metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Overweight / complications