How can eating fast lead to diabetes?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

Generally speaking when someone eats fast, they tend to eat more than they need to. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register “I’m full”; meanwhile your body may have been full 10 minutes ago. This leads to weight gain, and eventually obesity. Excess weight puts at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Wolfing down food makes you 2½ times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than eating slowly. Fact is, eating fast makes you much more vulnerable to diabetes because it turns on vulnerable genes—even if you're thin, exercise and don't smoke.

What makes this happen? It's the battle of the "I'm starving" and "No you're not" hormones. Two powerful appetite-regulating chemicals operate in the gut and brain: leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin levels increase before meals, signaling that it's time to eat and to keep eating. Leptin levels increase as you eat until your hunger is satisfied. If you short-circuit the two hormones' counter-regulatory dance, glucose levels go screwy, you overeat and you change your gene functioning. That's a recipe for type 2 diabetes.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.