| Eating Smaller Bites Can
Prevent Ice Cream Headache
NEW YORK (Reuters
Health) - To avoid an ice cream headache,
savor the flavor, say Canadian researchers.
The recommendations for pacing
ice cream consumption are based on a middle school science project
whose lead investigator is only 13 years old. Maya Kaczorowski
set out to determine if devouring ice cream quickly was more likely
to induce headache than taking small bites.
"It was her idea to do it, I just
helped her with how to test her hypothesis," said Maya's father,
Dr. Janusz Kaczorowski, associate professor with the Department
of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
The results of the study are published in the December issue of
the British Medical Journal.
The subjects for Maya's experiment
were 145 students from Dalewood Middle School in Hamilton, Canada.
Half of the kids were instructed to eat about two scoops of vanilla
ice cream so that some was still left in the bowl after 30 seconds.
The other students were told to eat all of their ice cream in
less than 5 seconds. Then all kids were asked to report whether
or not they developed a headache.
In an interview with Reuters Health,
Kaczorowski said, "A lot of parents tell their kids to eat ice
cream slowly, but of course Maya was always resisting this idea."
As was expected, the kids who ate
their ice cream faster were more likely to develop a headache
than the students who took smaller bites. Twenty-seven percent
of the "accelerated eating" group got headaches, compared with
13% of those in the "cautious eating" group. "Of the 29 headaches
reported, 17 lasted for less than 10 seconds," the report indicates.
Maya conducted her experiment during
the summer and repeated it during the winter, and found the incidence
of headache was not affected by colder weather. Kaczorowski said
people develop an ice cream headache when the cold substance touches
the roof of their mouth, and when they eat more slowly the likelihood
of this happening is decreased.
While there are lots of home remedies
to reduce ice cream headache, such as washing it down with a warm
drink, Kaczorowski said the best advice is just to eat slowly.
While Maya was in school during
the interview, and therefore unavailable for comment, her father
said she received an 'A' for her science project. The budding
scientist recommends future studies on other flavors of ice cream.
SOURCE: British Medical Journal
Reference Source 89