New study shows chewing gum can lead to better academic performance in teenagers


WHAT: New research from Baylor College of Medicine indicates a positive effect of chewing gum on academic performance in teenagers.i The study examined whether chewing Wrigley sugar-free gum can lead to better academic performance in a “real life” classroom setting. Major findings include:

  • The researchers found that students who chewed gum showed an increase in standardized math test scores and their final grades were better compared to those who didn’t chew gum.
    • Students who chewed gum had a significantly greater increase in their standardized math test scores after 14 weeks of chewing gum in math class and while doing homework compared to those who did not chew gum. Chewing gum was associated with a three percent increase in standardized math test scores, a small but statistically significant change.
    • Students who chewed gum had final grades that were significantly better than those who didn’t chew gum.

Today’s competitive testing environment has parents and students looking for approaches to improve academic performance, particularly as standardized test scores have become a mandatory requirement for assessing academic achievement. Together, these findings can be meaningful when related to small steps that can lead to better academic performance.

Previous research conducted in a laboratory setting has shown that gum chewing can help reduce stress, improve alertness and relieve anxiety. The current study builds on this previous research and for the first time, provides a possible role for chewing gum in helping to improve academic performance in a “real life” classroom setting.

A Research Summary with additional information on methodology is available upon request.

WHO: Craig A. Johnston, Ph.D., Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, led the research study and can discuss the effect of chewing gum on improving academic performance in adolescents.

Gilbert Leveille, Ph.D., Executive Director, Wrigley Science Institute, will also be available to discuss research on the Benefits of Chewing gum related to focus, alertness and concentration in addition to other areas including weight management and oral health.

WHEN: Study to be presented in the “Late Breaking” Poster Session, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 22 at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2009. Drs Johnston and Leveille are available for interviews.


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