Chewing Gum Improves Math Scores... No Lie

Let the gum chewing begin

By Anthony Castellano
|  Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Chewing Gum Improves Math Scores... No Lie

Sharon Montrose/Getty Images

advertisement

If you're having trouble with math in school the solution could be simple and tasty-- chew gum.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas rounded up 108 kids, ages 13-16, to test the theory. The students were split into two groups. Those who were asked to chew gum did so during math class, while tackling math homework, and when taking math tests, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Fourteen weeks later, the gum chewers had a 3 percent increase in standardized test scores and had better math scores compared to those students who did not chew gum during the trial.

Teachers also noticed that the students who chomped on gum required fewer breaks, had longer attention spans, and were much quieter - gum-smacking aside.

Necessary disclosure: Wrigley Science Institute sponsored the study, which may or may not be fair. Wrigley said that gum can “reduce stress, improve alertness and relieve anxiety,” according to Flesh and Stone.

Exactly how the act of chewing gum causes such an increase in match scores is unknown.

"We did not explore the mechanism behind this relationship. However, there is research demonstrating an increase in blood flow in the brain during chewing," said Dr. Craig Johnston of Baylor, who led the study.

Improved performance was not related to sugar. The gum used in the trial was sugar-free.

Parents and teachers, we hate to burst your bubble, but gum chewing may not be so bad after all.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Join the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, Sept. 13... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out