Your mother was right when she told you not to wolf down your food.

For people who eat more slowly feel fuller and think they have eaten more than those who eat quickly, a study has found.

Previous studies have shown slower eaters also have a lower body mass index than those who gobble their food. However, scientists have so far failed to understand exactly why eating slowly is linked to being thinner.

Researchers from the University of Bristol pumped 400ml of tomato soup through a tube into the mouths of 40 participants at two rates - a fast rate of 11.8ml for two seconds followed by a four second pause, and a slow rate of 5.4ml for one second followed by a ten second pause.

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Participants were then asked how full they felt, and again two hours later, with those who took the soup more slowly saying they felt fuller than the fast eaters on both occasions. The slow eaters also overestimated how much they had eaten - guessing they had eaten an average of 108ml more soup than the other group.

Scientists say further research is needed into whether eating more slowly will lead to us snacking less. They speculate that thinking we are full may keep the weight off because it makes us less likely to start eating - but that once we start we eat just as much as when we feel hungry.

Harvard University researcher Ann McDonald has previously said: "People who are trying to lose weight may want to start by chewing more slowly. In that way, they allow themselves enough time to experience pleasure and satiety."

- Daily Mail