Kids Who Chew Gum Perform Better At Academics

In future, school teachers may appreciate kids who chew gum in math classes – a new study supported by Wrigley Science institute suggests chewing sugarless gum may make kids perform better. What is the connection between chewing gum and better performance? Researchers say that chewing gum reduces the kids’ stress and anxiety levels, helping them to concentrate better and get good grades

This study was conducted by Criag Johnston, PhD, and his colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine. They enlisted 108 students of eigth grade and divided them into two equal groups. The students of the first group were asked to chew gum during math classes, while doing homework and while writing math tests. These students  chewed gum 86% of the time while they were in math class, 36% of the time while doing home work. The second group did not chew the gum.

This study was spread over a period of 14 weeks and after this time the students were evaluated for their performance in math. Researchers found out that those who chewed gum did significantly better in standardized math tests. The students from the first group, who chewed gum, showed a 3% increase in math scores. According to the lead researcher, Criag Johnston, chewing gum decreases stress and anxiety; this makes the students concentrate better.

While the results of the study are encouraging, other researchers opine that this study is difficult to evaluate as there could be other factors which influence kids. Factors such as doing something forbidden in the class, the kids’ individual intelligence etc.

The Wrigley Firm, which funded the study, says parents would be interested in this study and that small steps can lead to better performance in academics. While it is interesting to note that chewing gum decreases stress and increases academic performance, further studies may be needed to support this theory.

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