Chewing gum may keep your jaws (and mind) busy, but it’s no substitute for food–in fact, in makes you HUNGRIER. Even worse, it creates a craving for chips, cookies and candy, rather than fruits and vegetables.
Gum may evoke thoughts of food and get digestive juices flowing, which can make people hungrier. But they’ll reach for fast food, instead of vegetables, because menthol, the chemical responsible for the minty-fresh flavor in some types of gum, makes fruits and veggies taste bitter.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that, when chewing gum before they ate, participants ate fewer meals. But that didn’t translate into fewer calories, because they were actually eating more junk food and thus getting about the same amount of calories.
In LiveScience.com, Tia Ghose quotes nutritionist Christine Swoboda as saying that people "ate less fruits and vegetables, because in their head, they thought ‘I have to chew gum before every meal–do I really want a snack of grapefruit? Whereas, they were like, ‘I’m so hungry I’m going to eat this double cheeseburger and it will taste the same.’"