HOUSTON -- Arriving just in time for the start of the new school year is a study from the Baylor College of Medicine that shows a link between higher test scores and gum chewing.
Researchers at the prestigious school recruited 100 eighth-graders and divided them between chewers and non-chewers. The chewers, who were instructed to chew gum during math class, homework and tests, reportedly scored better on tests than their non-chewing counterparts. Likewise, the chewers garnered better overall grades for the class.
According to the study's results, the children who chewed gum showed an increase in standardized test scores after just 14 weeks. The 3%, jump, seemingly small, is seen as statistically significant.
The researchers believe the results are in line with previous research done in a laboratory setting that has shown gum chewing can help reduce stress, improve alertness and relieve anxiety. The new study builds on 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.
The study was funded by the Wrigley Science Institute, which works with independent researchers at leading institutions around the world to learn more about the potential health and wellness benefits of chewing gum. The institute's present work is focused on exploring the impact of chewing gum in four key scientific areas: focus, alertness and concentration; situational stress; weight management and appetite; and oral health.