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Appetite Control

It is common held that adult Chinese are less likely become overweight than most of other ethnicities in our multi-culture society. This is likely to be true according to Australia Health Survey 2011-2012,

“In general, adults born in the Pacific Islands or southern and eastern Europe are more likely to be above a healthy weight than those born in Australia, and people born in north-east Asia and south-east Asia are much less likely.

However, the survey did not tell us why. Your brain may start to become wild to find a explanation to suit your need.  I may have a small secret to tell (but please keep it to yourself).

First, traditionally mom or dad prepares food from fresh raw materials (no canned stuff). They are magicians and the food on dinner table always includes soup or soup-like dish(es) (slowly boiled bones or chickens etc).

Second, Chinese eat slowly because there are lot arguments on dinner table so we drink soup first to moisture our tongue.

You may think I am telling bullshit. It is alright if you have your own opinion. Let me try to make sense why this secret is essential.

Our stomach can expand 40-fold. We used to think that stretch receptors in the stomach told the brain when the stomach was full, time to stop eating. This idea is dangerous.  If you start to feel full, that means you already eat too much. To eat the right size of meal, thus, we cannot rely on the physical signal from stomach.

The ileum, the last section of small intestine, secretes a gut hormone, PYY, which is responsible for making you feel full. When we eat, it normally takes 20 minutes for food to get from the stomach to the ileum, causing the release of PYY and the message to the brain, “I’m full”.  The chemical signal, therefore, is more relevant for us to keep ideal body weight.

Keep eye on next topic: Gut and grain – Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Anxiety