I admit it...I'm a gum-smacker. And yes, I'm very aware that the noise can be irritating to others. But as a former smoker, it's a habit that I've happily adopted because I know it won't take a toll on my health down the road. If anything, chomping on sugar-free gum helps shave a few calories from the diet.
According to the Calorie Control Council, sugar-free gum is a great alternative to a higher-calorie snack or dessert. Chewing gum also has additional benefits: Research from the University of Liverpool indicates that chewing gum not only helps suppress the appetite but may also help cut cravings for sweets. A recent Washington Post article examined scientific evidence involving chewing gum's ability to fight fat. The article notes that a handful of gum studies suggest that chewing gum may help reduce cravings, particularly for sweet snacks, and spur people to cut their daily intake by about 50 calories. The latest study, presented at the annual scientific meeting of the Obesity Society in late October, showed that gum-chewing people consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and didn't compensate by eating more later in the day.
While chewing gum certainly won't result in the dramatic loss of many pounds, it could be adopted as one small change in an overall weight loss or management effort. Regardless of how much gum will actually help to burn or reduce calories, sugar-free varieties only have about five calories per stick. So if you adopt gum as your sweet treat, you're making some pretty good choices.
Anyway, I would just like to say this to all of my old elementary and middle-school teachers who told me to quit chewing gum: Neener neener neener! See? Gum is good!