Monday, May 21, 2007

Can sugar-free gum make me fat?

Who's asking: An anonymous Googler from somewhere in Pennsylvania

No. What makes people fat is consuming more calories than they use. Period. No one food makes people fat, and certainly a five-calorie stick of gum doesn't make anyone fat. You can burn five calories in one trip up and down a flight of stairs.

I've never been a gum-chewer, although I'll take a piece if someone offers it. Many years ago, someone gave me a piece of gum before I went to meet the guy I was dating at the time. Before he even said hello, he stepped back and said, "You don't chew gum." Funny how we classify people in those terms.

Dad thought it was an ugly habit, so we never had much of it around in my childhood. Three years of braces made it impossible for me to chew gum between the ages of 11 and 14. Now I grind my teeth when I'm sleep-deprived or stressed, so why would I want to do something that would make my jaw hurt more?

4 comments:

steve said...

There is some "evidence" to show that chewing gum improves brain function for short periods of time by increasing heart rate (by 3 beats per minute over non-chewers) and increasing insulin to the brain (due to salivation). I have also read that gum-chewers live longer, healthier lives. Who knows?

I love gum. And I tend to chew it with more gusto than is proper. And I have been known to swallow it. See? Your Dad was right.

Kris

steve said...

Here is a link that have some health benefits of gum (AKA why you would want to chew gum)

http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=guy.wisdom&category=daily.dose&conitem=b5e5428e6b690110VgnVCM10000013281eac____

Steve

AnswerGirl said...

Okay, Kris, now you're making me think of Calvin (the cartoon character) and his subscription to CHEWING magazine...

:: jozjozjoz :: said...

You just made me want to put a piece of gum in my mouth. :)