According to the April issue of the journal Eating Behaviors, chewing gum may lead people to crave chips, cookies and candy instead of fruits and vegetables, due to the menthol in gum. Menthol is the chemical that leaves you with a minty fresh feeling after chewing gum, a feeling that often makes veggies and fruit taste funny.
While a few studies have aimed to prove that chewing gum can in fact be used as a dieting strategy, the theory has been dismissed by Weight Loss Center professionals.
Yvonne Beeler, the program director for the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center in Gainesville, Fla., said there are no tangible benefits associated with chewing gum.
“Chewing gum alone is not going to help you lose weight,” she told The Independent Florida Alligator. “It is just a strategy while you’re doing other things to lose weight, to make sure you don’t sit there and eat something else you shouldn’t really be eating.”
The Huffington Post points out that there have been scientific studies aiming to prove both the pros and cons of chewing gum to lose weight. While some have hypothesized that chewing gum makes people hungry because it evokes thoughts of food and gets the digestive juices flowing, others claim the act of chewing makes people feel full and eat less.
According to Beeler people who are looking to lose weight are better off focusing on making better food choices and being more active.
“Whenever you know you’re not really hungry, but you have the urge to eat, then that is when you would chew gum,” she said.