Chewing gum tricks your stomach: Does chewing gum make you hungry?


Does chewing gum make you hungry?

Have you ever been hungry and decided to pop a piece of gum in your mouth?  But wouldn’t that just make you hungrier?  Chewing gum stimulates the gastric juices, meaning there is more saliva.  You then swallow the saliva and your stomach thinks there is food coming down.  When no food comes down, you become hungry.  It is like chewing food but spitting it out.  The body thinks it is getting food and nutrients but ends up getting nothing.

To test this, one experiment was done that made contributors chew gum before every meal and track their food in a food diary.  The results were that the ones who chewed gum before eating their meals ate less, but the meals they consumed had a lot more calories and a lot less nutritious foods.

Another study took a completely different route.  This University of Rhode Island study showed people who chew gum eat 68 fewer calories at their lunch, while avoiding sugary foods.

 Louisiana State University says chewing gum can help control appetite, decreasing their normal calorie amount by 40 calories.

One more article showed that chewing gum does not lessen amount of food ingested or hunger.  They said although they technically ate less meals, they just ate more at those meals.  They also said people who chew gum eat more junk food because the minty taste makes healthy foods taste bad, similar to brushing your teeth then drinking orange juice.

Almost every study about chewing gum is different.  For example, “Appetite” in May 2007 studied that chewing gum 15 minutes per hour after lunch made people want salty snacks not sweet ones.  Then, in October 2011, “Appetite” did another study with chewing gum 15 minutes per hour after lunch and found that those people ate 10% less in general for their snack three hours later.

There really is no right answer to this problem.  Personally, I would think it would make one hungrier because they are chewing and not swallowing anything.

 Maybe some better studies could be done.  They could feed people of the same health, diet, and age the same exact meals and then give half of them gum to chew and half of them not.  This would be a controlled double-blind trial, making it able to be more accurate.  After a month of doing this, one could check what the control groups ate after they chewed the gum later in the day.  They would be given a plate of food each night and told to eat as much as they were hungry for.  Then, scientists could check the results and see how chewing gum really affects one’s appetite.

With so many different conclusions, it could be hard to settle on a decision.  Who knows, maybe one day my personal experiment will be done and that will be the final answer.  Only time will tell…

Works Cited:

  2. 1293789

6 ways chewing gum is wrecking your health

We pop a piece after a boldly flavored lunch to put the kibosh on that garlic breath. We reach for a piece when we feel a little hungry but aren’t ready to eat a full meal just yet. And we snag another piece when we’re caught in an uncomfortable situation and need that oral fixation to help take the edge off (and distract you from the awkwardness). We’re gum chewers, and it’s not doing our health any favors.

If you chew gum regularly, too, it’s important to know how the habit impacts your body, from your teeth to your stomach and beyond. Here are all the ways chewing gum is hurting you more than it’s helping you.

1. It’s 

really bad for your teeth.

Unless you opt for sugar-free gum 100 percent of the time, that gum chewing habit is negatively impacting your dental health. The bad bacteria in your mouth digest sugar before it gets to your stomach, and you chew gum over a prolonged period of time, so those windows of time increase the amount of plaque buildup on your teeth and cause tooth decay to occur over time.

2. It could cause jaw problems.

Another common side effect of chewing gum, especially during times of high stress, is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ. It predominantly affects the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding muscles, leading to severe pain any time you try to move your jaw away from its typical closed alignment. It hurts to chew your food, it hurts to laugh… Pretty much everything related to moving your mouth hurts.

3. It can give you a lot of headaches.

That constant compression in your jaw from excessive chewing does more than predispose you to conditions like TMJ — it also increases the number of tension headaches you experience and how frequently they present themselves. So if you’re someone who already deals with a migraine disorder or frequent headaches due to the common stressors and anxiety triggers in your life, you’re better off staying away from chewing gum altogether.

4. It can make your indigestion symptoms worse.

A lot of people chew gum to help relieve feelings of nausea or an upset stomach, but gum can make these unpleasant symptoms worse. When you chew gum, you swallow a bunch of little sips of air over time, filling your stomach with unwanted gas. This process can lead to additional bloating and make your tummy feel even more distended than it did before. Talk about an unhappy digestive system…

5. It can make folks with IBS truly miserable.

For the people out there who think sugarless gum is the way to go because it has fewer calories, be mindful if you have any sensitive stomach issues or digestive problems. The sugar alcohols that serve as artificial sweeteners can act as laxatives, causing things like cramping, digestive distress and even diarrhea. Those with irritable bowel syndrome are best off staying away from all products that contain a significant amount of sugar alcohols — not just chewing gum.

6. Its reputation as a diet aid can backfire.

Many people chew gum to curb unwanted (and unhealthy) snacking cravings and avoid weight gain, but the constant chewing motion can actually trigger the brain to think that your body actually is hungry. That means that you still end up digging in and eating more than you probably would have after chewing away on that gum. What’s more, if you prefer mint gum, that flavor makes you more likely to reach for junk foods afterward rather than healthy options like fresh fruit. Doesn’t sound like a successful dieting plan to us…

This post was originally published on in the Thrive section, which covers valuable career and personal finance content for Millennials.

Health Fusion: What chewing gum may do for your gut

Gum is one of those products that makes me go, “Hmmm. ” Who thought of it? And how did it go from inception to high-tech hospitals? I checked out what the online Britannica encyclopedia has to say about gum. Its article notes that gum has been around since antiquity in the form of tree resin. People in the Mediterranean, Central America and North America chewed it. An article in notes that industrialists thought the substance might be good for rubber manufacturing. It ended up sticking as a candy product, which is how William Wrigley, Jr. made his fortune.

And now researchers are looking into how gum might help issues with your gut. One study announced at the 18th Annual Perioperative and Critical Care Conference from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons shows that chewing sugarless gum after heart valve surgery may kick start the digestive tract and allow patients to go home faster and be more comfortable. Apparently, the gum tricks the digestive track into thinking that food is on the way.

A quick online search pops up a lot of other studies, including an older one in the Journal of Clinical Nursing that shows chewing gum helps stomach discomfort and nausea for colonoscopy patients.

Chewing gum seems to be a low-tech and cheap way to potentially help gut issues after procedures. If you’re wondering about what chewing gum does or doesn’t do for your teeth, I might bite into that topic in a different post.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at [email protected] Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

Chewing gum after surgery to help recovery of the digestive system

We identified 81 studies that comprised 9072 participants for inclusion in our review. We categorised many studies at high or unclear risk of the bias’ assessed. There was statistical evidence that use of CG reduced TFF [overall reduction of 10.4 hours (95% CI: -11.9, -8.9): 12.5 hours (95% CI: -17.2, -7.8) in CRS, 7.9 hours (95% CI: –10.0, -5.8) in CS, 10.6 hours (95% CI: -12.7, -8.5) in OS]. There was also statistical evidence that use of CG reduced TBM [overall reduction of 12.7 hours (95% CI: -14.5, -10.9): 18.1 hours (95% CI: -25.3, -10.9) in CRS, 9.1 hours (95% CI: -11.4, -6.7) in CS, 12.3 hours (95% CI: -14.9, -9.7) in OS]. There was statistical evidence that use of CG slightly reduced LOHS [overall reduction of 0.7 days (95% CI: -0.8, -0.5): 1.0 days in CRS (95% CI: -1.6, -0.4), 0.2 days (95% CI: -0.3, -0.1) in CS, 0.8 days (95% CI: -1.1, -0.5) in OS]. There was statistical evidence that use of CG slightly reduced TBS [overall reduction of 5.0 hours (95% CI: -6.4, -3.7): 3.21 hours (95% CI: -7.0, 0.6) in CRS, 4.4 hours (95% CI: -5.9, -2.8) in CS, 6.3 hours (95% CI: -8.

7, -3.8) in OS]. Effect sizes were largest in CRS and smallest in CS. There was statistical evidence of heterogeneity in all analyses other than TBS in CRS.

There was little difference in mortality, infection risk and readmission rate between the groups. Some studies reported reduced nausea and vomiting and other complications in the intervention group. CG was generally well-tolerated by participants. There was little difference in cost between the groups in the two studies reporting this outcome.

Sensitivity analyses by quality of studies and robustness of review estimates revealed no clinically important differences in effect estimates. Sensitivity analysis of ERAS studies showed a smaller effect size on TFF, larger effect size on TBM, and no difference between groups for LOHS.

Meta-regression analyses indicated that surgical site is associated with the extent of the effect size on LOHS (all surgical subgroups), and TFF and TBM (CS and CRS subgroups only). There was no evidence that ROB score predicted the extent of the effect size on any outcome. Neither variable explained the identified heterogeneity between studies.

Stomach bloating symptoms: Avoid chewing gum to get rid of and reduce excess wind

Stomach bloating is when your belly becomes stretched, puffy and uncomfortable. It usually happens as a result of excess wind, constipation, or swallowing air from talking while eating.

These symptoms can be triggered by foods like beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage sprouts and cauliflower, so it’s advised to cut down on these.

But something else that can trigger a bloated tummy is a daily habit you may not think twice about – chewing gum.

While chewing gum may seem like a good tactic for helping you steer away from bloat-inducing high-fat foods, researchers have found it can actually trigger trapped wind.

Holland and Barrett state: “Most chewing gums – even the sugary versions – contain artificial sweeteners, like sorbitol, which are poorly absorbed by the stomach, and can cause bloating and abdominal pain.

“In large doses, this can cause chronic diarrhoea.”

But that’s not the only problem chewing gum can cause.

It adds on its website: “All that chewing signals to your stomach that food is on its way, triggering the release of enzymes and stomach acids that aid digestion.

“Yet with no food appearing, all that action going on inside your stomach can cause bloating.”

One of the key things to beat bloating is to stay well hydrated.

The high street health shop states that constipation is a major cause of bloating and could be triggered by something as simple as not drinking enough fluids.

It explains “This can slow your system down, and make your stool too hard to pass.”

So how much water should you drink a day?

Aim to drink 1.5 litres a day, and cut down on hydration ‘robbers’ like caffeine, alcohol, and fizzy or sugar drinks.

If you’re looking to swap out beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower for other foods, what can you eat instead? Health experts at Healthline offer some alternatives.

Beans swap

Most beans contain sugars called alpha-galactoside, which belong to a group of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. These escape digestion and are then fermented by gut bacteria in the colon. Gas is a byproduct of this process.

But some beans are easier on the digestive system, the website states.

It goes on to recommend pinto beans and black beans, especially after soaking.

Onions swap

Cooking onions may help reduce their bloating effects, advises Healthline.

But if you’re looking for an alternative, try using fresh herbs or spices.

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables swap

Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, garden, cress, bok choy and Brussels sprouts, and while they contain many essential nutrients, they also contain FODMAPS.

Healthline says cooking cruciferous vegetables may make them easier to digest, but you can swap them for spinach, cucumber, lettuce, sweet potatoes and zucchini.

You may want to cut down on your consumption of onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower if you want to reduce bloating, but you should still make sure to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

If you are thinking about cutting a particular food group out long-term you should first get advice from your GP.

The hot weather could also be to blame for your bloating. 

Swallowing gum: Is it harmful?

My 6-year-old daughter accidentally swallowed a wad of chewing gum. Should I be concerned?

Answer From Elizabeth Rajan, M.D.

Although chewing gum is designed to be chewed and not swallowed, it generally isn’t harmful if swallowed. Folklore suggests that swallowed gum sits in your stomach for seven years before it can be digested. But this isn’t true. If you swallow gum, it’s true that your body can’t digest it. But the gum doesn’t stay in your stomach. It moves relatively intact through your digestive system and is excreted in your stool.

On very rare occasions, large amounts of swallowed gum combined with constipation have blocked intestines in children. It’s for this reason that frequent swallowing of chewing gum should be discouraged, especially in children.


Elizabeth Rajan, M.D.


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Dec. 31, 2019 Show references
  1. Wyllie R, et al. Bezoars. In: Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 5th ed. 2016. Elsevier; 2019. Accessed Nov. 6, 2019.
  2. Your digestive system and how it works. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed Nov. 6, 2019.
See more Expert Answers


Does your swallowed gum stay in your stomach for 7 years? Science has the answer

Pretty much any gum chewer has had a reason — or need — to swallow their gum rather than politely returning it to its wrapper to toss it out. (The recommended means of disposal.)

But that naturally leads to the question on the minds of many, who were told as children that swallowing gum causes it to stay in your stomach for seven years.

This may blow up your notions of what happens to gum once it’s in your gullet.Darko Vrcan / Shutterstock

MORE: Belly bloat? 10 bad habits to break, from chewing gum to eating fast

A video posted by the American Chemical Society’s Reactions channel offers the answer by way of a brief lesson on digestion. And it’s a little … sticky.