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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Mar;20(3):547-52. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.336. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Randomized controlled trial of chewing gum for weight loss.

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  • 1Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.


The possible effects on body weight of chewing gum on a regular schedule have not been tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). We conducted an 8-week RCT in 201 overweight and obese adults to test the hypothesis that receiving printed material on good nutrition and chewing gum for a minimum of 90 min/day (n = 102) would lead to greater weight loss than receiving printed nutrition information only (n = 99). Changes in BMI, waist circumference, and blood pressure were secondary outcomes. Adherence to the gum-chewing protocol in the intervention group was >95%. In the intention-to-treat analysis, there were virtually no changes in weight or BMI in either group between baseline and the end of the intervention at 8 weeks. Waist circumference decreased significantly in the intervention group between baseline and 8 weeks (mean ± SD change = -1.4 ± 5.3 cm; P = 0.0128); however, there was no significant difference in change in waist circumference comparing the groups. Similarly, systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the intervention group between baseline and 8 weeks (-3.0 ± 9.9 mm Hg; P = 0.0032 and -3.2 ± 7.3 mm Hg; P = 0.0001, respectively); however, there were no significant differences in the changes in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between the groups. Analyses including completers only produced essentially the same results. We conclude that chewing gum on a regular schedule for 8 weeks did not facilitate weight loss in these overweight and obese adults.

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