From curbing food cravings and reducing overeating to simply working your facial muscles and giving you a sculpted face–chewing gum has been thought of as a great way to lose weight. But there are cons of chewing gum too.
In fact, many studies have hailed it for its stress-relieving and concentration-boosting powers as well.
If these theories have convinced you to turn to chewing gum for weight loss and its other touted benefits, be warned. For it isn’t exactly healthy.
Don’t believe us? Well, check out these science-backed reasons why chewing gum is terrible for your health:
1. It doesn’t lead to weight loss
As opposed to what earlier studies have claimed, a study conducted at Ohio State University found that chewing gum does not boost metabolism or lessen food cravings. On the contrary, the gum-chewers reported feeling hungrier than non-chewers in the study.
Now that the weight-loss myth of chewing gum is busted, let’s look at more reasons to not bank on it at all.
2. It can mess up your digestive system
You might swallow excess air while chewing gum. This can lead to bloating and abdominal pain. But that’s not it. Chewing gum signals your body to start preparing to digest food and thus, your stomach starts secreting hydrochloric acid for this purpose. But, with no food to digest, this can lead to acidity, stomach ulcers, and other gastric problems.
3. It can give you cancer
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a preservative that’s usually added in most packaged foods to keep them from becoming stale. Needless to say, many chewing gums contain BHT and according to a study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, it can lead to cancer.
Since BHT is only present in small quantities you may consider it harmless. But, if you habitually chew several pieces of gums a day, then don’t take this lightly.
4. It can damage your brain
Many chewing gum manufacturers rely on titanium dioxide to give the gum a smooth texture. However, as per a study published in the journal Biomaterials, it can hamper the brain function and even damage your brain permanently.
5. It can give you a headache
A study published in the journal Pediatric Neurology, found that chewing gum led to frequent headaches in teenagers. Although the researchers blame it on the constant movement of the jaw and exposure to the aspartame (an artificial sweetener) used in gums, the exact cause is still not clear.
6. It can damage your jaw too
The same study points out the possibility of constantly chewing gum with one side of your mouth leading to an imbalance in the jaw muscles and causing a painful, chronic condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).