Chewing gum may lead people to eat chips, cookies and candy instead of fruits and vegetables because menthol the chemical which gives gum its mintyfresh flavour makes fruits and vegetables taste bitter,according to a new study.
Some researchers have proposed that chewing gum could help people eat less and lead to weight loss, but the study, published in the journal Eating Behaviours, suggests that the chemical menthol in some types of gum makes fruits and vegetables taste funny. The chemical change is the same reason why when you brush your teeth and then drink orange juice, it tastes bad, said study coauthor Christine Swoboda, a doctoral candidate in nutrition at Ohio State University.
Only a few studies have looked at whether chewing gum aids weight loss, and these have found conflicting results,Swoboda told Livescience. It could be that the menthol in mint, which interacts with nutrients in fruits and veggies to create a bitter flavour,was turning people off to the healthy foods, she said.
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