Study Finds Gum Boosts Math Scores: Does Chewing Help You Focus?

Living 2011/08/05 11:00:00
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We can still remember the words being whispered ever so furtively in high school:

"Do you have any gum?"

Our Spanish teacher once told us -- in Spanish -- to spit it out. (Shows how good our education was, we can't remember how to say it.)

Not only is gum messy and distracting, the sight of teenagers chomping away on it is just plain nasty.

But now, researchers have found that chewing gum may boost academic performance in teens. A team led by Craig Johnston at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that students who chewed gum during math class had higher scores on a standardized math test after 14 weeks and better grades at the end of the term than students in the class who did not chew gum, Reuters reports.

Not surprisingly, the study was funded by chewing gum-maker Wrigley.

"For the first time we've been able to show in a real-life kind of situation that students did perform better when they were allowed to chew," Gil Leveille, executive director of the Wrigley Science Institute, told Reuters.

Leveille said gum-chewers have told Wrigley that chewing gum helps them stay focused. We can kind of see where they're going with that, but it's probably just a bad habit.

Does chewing gum help you concentrate?

Read More: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/04/chewing-g...

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Top Opinion

  • Walks_on_Clouds 2011/08/05 20:03:38 (edited)
    Yes, totally
    Of course, it's the sugar.

    Once after receiving all of her Easter candy, my youngest daughter came up to my wife and I and said, "Sugar makes me THINK!!!!" Yes it does, oh, and turns you into massive blueberries.

    sugar receiving easter candy youngest daughter wife sugar

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  • Gymgurl1234 2012/02/24 00:20:29
    Yes, totally
    I think that chewing gum in school is a good idea. Studies have shown that while chewing gum in math class while doing homework or taking a test, the students improved their math scores. Also, while chewing gum it increases your heart rate which helps more oxygen reach your entire body.
  • Heidi 2011/08/12 04:31:10
    Yes, totally
    i think it might help though I've never actually tested the theory
  • Ryan 2011/08/08 15:12:34
    Yes, totally
    when i go school supply shopping, i also go to sams and buy those big boxes of packs of gum so my locker is stocked all year.
  • Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦ 2011/08/08 14:38:14 (edited)
    Yes, totally
    Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦
    When I do chew it, it does help. I have ADD, which I take meds for, but chewing gum helps keep me focused and from sinking into a total stupor. It gets my brain working. I don't chew it often, but I'm thinking I might. Most of our teachers allow it (except in science class for obvious reasons), and it's even sold at the school store, but as soon as gum gets stuck under the table, or blown, or popped, or smacked loudly too many times, they ask you to stop. But otherwise, it seems to help.
  • Ki 2011/08/08 14:31:00
    Yes, totally
    In the sixth grade I remember having a teacher who allowed gum because she believed that because smell is one of the biggest memory triggers when you chew gum and study then chew thew same gum during a test u will trigger ur memory a d have an easier time remembering the answers. Well we dont know if her hypothesis was correct but you can't argue the results many kids did better.
  • Waronpo... Ki 2011/08/09 21:37:15
    Thats called pseudoscience.
  • Feisty 2011/08/08 13:51:17
    No, that's ridiculous
    It may help YOU concentrate but it distracts the hell out of everyone else around you. Is this going to be just one more way in which our society says to hell with everyone else?
  • Anonymous Coward218 2011/08/08 13:24:02
    Yes, totally
    Anonymous Coward218
    Guess my teachers were ahead of their time. I had several who told us that if we chewed like humans and not like a camel, then we could keep the gum. But, any bubble blowing or snapping, and you lost your privilege to chew....
  • Guinness 2011/08/08 11:21:17
    No, that's ridiculous
    it ain't ridiculous. but i don't really need to do this as i'm already good at maths
  • Ki Guinness 2011/08/08 14:34:49
    Perhaps learning to speak the English language is in order.
  • Guinness Ki 2011/08/08 17:02:57
    yeah well it's rushed as i'm on my iPod
  • Ki Guinness 2011/08/08 17:04:23
    I'm on my iPhone...
  • Guinness Ki 2011/08/08 17:05:47
    your point being?
  • rog 2011/08/08 03:16:35
    No, that's ridiculous
    It just makes my jaw hurt after a while. jaw hurt blow bubblegum
  • ;:~*'LiViNg_DoLL'*~:; 2011/08/08 03:07:00
    Yes, totally
    Everyone experiences it differently
    experiences differently GUM ROCKS
  • crystal.vix 2011/08/08 00:37:49
    Yes, totally
    hey im a teen im in class now . i personally cant focus without doing something else, im chewing gum at this very second, and on sodahead, and compeleting all my school work. i chew gum all day everyday.
    it helps me relax. i dont know why but it does. i fond it rather handy . yes i get asked for gum (alot) but its mine ... i may give some people some , but not loads of people .also if your chewing gum we have something in out mouths and are lesss likely to talk.... im 15 (just so ya'll know)
  • Waronpo... crystal... 2011/08/09 21:35:50 (edited)
    Seeing as how you are not a troll looking for attention I am astonished by your... lack of understanding. Your comment does not reflect a very educated person, and you clearly lack the ability to concentrate on schoolwork even while chewing gum, so you proved my point. Chewing gum doesn't help students improve the quality of their academic work. Just because you are completing you school work doesn't mean you are learning ; )
  • crystal... Waronpo... 2011/10/18 23:10:12
    I get top grades , i pass all subjects and always have . i get used for performing arts tours , and open days
    I get top grades , and prizes for my art work and help around the school.
    i've started my own anti-bullying campaign and have started going around primary schools in the area giving speeches, advice , and confidence to younger children.
    i also study history at home , and was top in my country for horse vaulting before my back stuffed out. im not 'just' completing my school work , im putting in effort so i can make the most out of my life .... hey im only 15
  • XxXxX 2011/08/08 00:00:14
    Yes, totally
    It does help. I just hope I can't hear anyone else chew it, because then that's all I can think about. I like silence to focus.
  • Vision of Verve 2011/08/07 21:16:39
  • Ruger 2011/08/07 21:10:39
    Yes, totally
    I hate taking test feel like my balls are in my throat.I always had gum when we took big test for stress release.
  • dePSyChO 2011/08/07 21:04:22
    Yes, totally
    It's helped me when I had to take tests/really focus in school. Then again, lolipops and things like mentos also do the same. I guess it's the placebo affect, but hey, it worked!
  • George Worley 2011/08/07 20:43:34
    Yes, totally
    George Worley
    While I don't chew gum, I believe that it does help some people concentrate. I don't knock the way people concentrate as I use music to help me concentrate.
  • sajedarh 2011/08/07 20:33:18
    No, that's ridiculous
    but it's hard to focus and i'm doing things else
  • Mecynogea 2011/08/07 20:31:02
    No, that's ridiculous
    Not ridiculous, but it never helped me focus.
  • George ... Mecynogea 2011/08/07 20:51:34
    George Worley
    I use music to help me focus (in the movie "Iron Eagle" staring Jason Gedrick who played a teenage boy by the name of Doug Masters in 1986 used music to fly his plane... when his instructor asked him to turn it off he could not fly and hit targets, turned it back on and he could fly and hit targets) so gum chewing may not help you focus but I do believe that it may help others to focus.
  • Mecynogea George ... 2011/08/07 21:04:25
    Music is worst than bubble gum. xD
    When I'm listening to music and working I stop paying attention to what I'm doing and start paying it to the music's bass, the singer's voice, guitar, etc. I like to be in total silence when I'm working. That actually helps me focus...

    In the other hand, music helps me to not getting stressed when I'm doing handcrafts or stuff like that.
  • ;:~*'Li... George ... 2011/08/08 03:08:03
    i listen to music without words. if i listen to the words i end up writing the word lol
  • allydisaster 2011/08/07 20:24:22
    Yes, totally
    Yes i agree because in school when we took our pssas (the big tests we have in pennsylvania.) our teachers would always give give us 3 pieces of gum for the 3 days we took the test and she would say it is to help u stay focused on the test ................ ya ...............lol
  • EricVanSingleton 2011/08/07 20:23:46
    No, that's ridiculous
    It keeps you from falling asleep while engaged in a mind numbing state test, but it doesn't replace being well rested and knowledgeable.
  • Wizard 2011/08/07 18:01:06
    No, that's ridiculous
    I have not chewed gum in quite a while, and I can focus. I do think maybe if you kick your legs a lot, it might help with that. nervous energy.
  • Thierry 2011/08/07 16:01:18 (edited)
    Yes, totally
    but we can't in our skool
  • gouki 2011/08/07 15:47:45
    No, that's ridiculous
    but it's fun.
  • TheMadChameleon 2011/08/07 14:09:43
    Yes, totally
    I need to be doing SOMETHING completely automatic and mind numbing, usually, if I want to focus. Otherwise my mind wanders. It's a tad odd......
  • brie 2011/08/07 11:39:03
    Yes, totally
  • IZZY 2011/08/07 07:26:02
    Yes, totally
    for some people it calms down the nerves whe n ur doing a very important test like the final test of the year and if u dont get at leat 87 prcent u will FAIL!!!!!!!!!!
  • FPSRules 2011/08/07 07:03:19
    No, that's ridiculous
    No, no it doesn't............ummm, what was I just doing?
  • Waronpoliticalterror 2011/08/07 06:18:31
    No, that's ridiculous
    You either know something or you don't, chewing gum isn't a mental boost. I imagine it might subconsciously calm down a person down but so do many other things. As such, I would imagine it only "boosts scores" if the person is stressing.
  • George ... Waronpo... 2011/08/07 21:16:12
    George Worley
    Excuse me since when did concentrate or focus equal "mental boast?" The study is saying that you will kept close to task at hand i.e. I have taken test where my mind wonders instead of being focused on the test, while I knew the answers my mind wonder to church, to did I take out the trash when my mother asked me, or I wonder what mom is going to fix for dinner? -- the research didn't say it boosted the memory just the ability to focus on the task at hand as in dead silence the mind wonders.

    My Church recently did a workshop on prayer and one of the sessions was on how to pray silently. The group could not do it for 5 minutes at first. Humans cannot do anything in silence for more the 5 minutes as the mind tends to wonder to did I put the trash out, what I am going to for dinner, I wonder my boyfriend or girlfriend will take me out on Saturday night or a cadre of other things. Most tests are done in silence and the mind tends to wonder from the task at hand even if you know the material. In our silent prayer workshop we learned that having some type of mantra like "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner." to bring us back to our prayer help get rid of the thoughts of worldly things so that we could meet the living God in the silence of prayer.
  • Waronpo... George ... 2011/08/08 21:43:28
    Before you try to correct me, try to read the question asked and my answer carefully. The title claims it boost (not boast) math scores due to focus. My argument is that it only helps a person who is stressing, meaning either with nervousness due to the test or about other things. Which is what you were saying. Is wondering if you took out the thrash or what your mom is going to cook not a form of stressing. As for the latter paragraph of your reply, I didn't even read it because you clearly have no idea what you are talking about in your beginning paragraph. By the way I hope you are a troll, and not someone who is actually dumb enough to argue against something and repeating it, followed by an example filled with religious non-sense. Maybe you should put down that bible and read an actual book.

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