Playing slow music while eating prevents you from wolfing down your food, study finds

You’ve probably never really given thought to how your habits while eating affect the amount you consume. But a new study suggests that listening to slow and steady music while eating slows down food intake. The study found that humans have a tendency to subconsciously eat to the beat of music.

When the music played is slow and legato, this amplifies the effect and further reduces food consumption. Take note of the kind of music played in the restaurant the next time you go out to eat.

Food scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark recruited more than 200 volunteers for the research and secretly recorded them eating chocolate. 

They timed how long it took for participants to get through five pieces of chocolate. 

When eating in silence the average amount of time it took was 24 seconds

When upbeat music of 180 beats per minute was played, the people took ten seconds longer to eat all the snacks. 

However, when played slow music, at just 45 bpm, the eating speed went down again, this time taking a further four seconds to devour all the chocolate.  

The researchers reported: “The results from these experiments confirm that music could be employed as a contextual cue to modulate eating speed, contributing to healthier eating behaviours such as eating more slowly and consuming less food.”

The research is published in the journal Appetite.