In line with recommendations by the Japanese Society for the Study of Obesity, however, a BMI of 25 was taken as obese for Japanese populations for the purposes of the study.
The researchers analyzed health insurance data from 59,717 individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes — a form of the disease that generally hits in adulthood as a result of being overweight.
The participants had regular checkups from 2008 to 2013.
Data captured included their age and gender, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, eating habits, alcohol consumption and tobacco use.
From the outset, the slow-eating group of 4,192 had a smaller average waist circumference, a mean BMI of 22.3 and fewer obese individuals — 21.5 percent of the total.
By comparison, more than 44 percent of the fast-eating group of 22,070 people was obese, with a mean BMI of 25.