In The News: Chew Gum for Better Performance in the Classroom

| 8/4/2011 11:25:26 AM

J.PattonA new study performed by U.S. researchers may give your teens yet another excuse to break the rules at school. The study found that chewing gum in the classroom—a "crime" that often results in after-school detention—may improve grades later on.

The team of researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that students who chewed gum during math class scored three percent higher on a standardized math test and performed better overall after 14 weeks than their peers who did not. The gum chewers also received better final grades in the class. Students who did not chew gum did not see any significant changes in performance. 

The researchers also studied college students working on challenging tasks on a computer. Students who chewed gum produced a significantly lower amount of the stress hormone cortisol. Frequent cortisol secretion can result in chronic stress, higher blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat, among other health problems.

Rather than punishing kids for chewing gum in the classroom,
teachers may want to start handing it out daily for smarter students.
Photo by Macarena C./Courtesy

This isn’t the first time in recent years that chewing gum has been praised for its benefits in the classroom. In 2009, another study found that chewing gum could actually improve concentration among kids.

Gum can provide many health benefits for adults as well. Research has found that gum may be an important tool in weight loss and maintenance. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, results showed that sugar-free gum chewers who chewed gum all day can burn up to 11 pounds per year.