Speed-eating is damaging our health

The average Irish person now eats their main meal of the day too quickly, leading to health problems for many, according to a new survey.

It found that 81% of all adults eat their main meal in less than 20 minutes and one in four spends under 10 minutes eating their dinner.

The survey says changes in eating habits due to our growing ‘fast-food culture’ and the demise of the traditional family meal around a table could be affecting people’s health.

The study found that 77% of women and 67% of men are likely to ‘speed feed’, despite the fact that they are more likely to be aware of the negative effects of earing on the go.

More women than men also confess to being ‘snack guzzlers’.

According to behavioural psychologist Alison Keating, work, anxiety and stress, combined with a hectic pace of life are all having a detrimental effect on people’s digestive systems.

She said the number of patients presenting to her with stress and anxiety issues who also cite some form of digestive issue has risen dramatically.

Ms Keating said the recession had taken its toll on all age groups, both emotionally and physically and this had led to greater levels of stress, with related stomach problems

She advises that people should try to eat with others around a table at home more often, to eat more slowly, not to eat at your office desk and to avoid bad habits like skipping breakfast.

The findings on eating habits were reported in ‘Gut Feelings’, a national survey from Rennie.

Visit irishhealth.com’s Digestive Disorders Clinic