Upon an idle conversation with my mum over a Chinese takeaway, I began to wonder about the benefits — if any at all — of using chopsticks to eat our food. Are chopsticks the healthier choice? Aren’t they just a more complicated way of getting our grub from A to B? Don’t they just slow us down?

Surely they make the entire eating experience that little bit more painful?

The theory...

milk, cream, tea, coffee
Kimberly Kao

Whilst all of these questions are valid, it came to my attention that generally speaking, by using chopsticks, we tend to eat more slowly. Unless of course you hold the world record for M&M’s picked up and eaten by chopsticks within sixty seconds (65), which is actually hugely impressive, you probably eat slower with the oriental utensils than with a traditional knife and fork.

Why does it actually work?

candy, chocolate, sweetmeat
Kelley Buck

This is the important part, because when we take slightly longer to consume our food, this allows our brain more time to tell us that we are in fact full. So in the long run, chopsticks can definitely help in eating less but getting the same satisfaction out of your meals. Studies are generally split on the conclusion that eating more at a slower pace helps you to become healthier, with many asserting that regular drinks of water can have the same effect as slower eating.


wine, tea, coffee
Jocelyn Hsu

Nonetheless, it can’t hurt to introduce a new kind of utensil into your life. I’m not saying to go all out and arm yourselves with chopsticks for every time you might need to eat a meal (I can see how eating a traditional bangers and mash — my staple British meal — might be a logistical problem for the oriental utensils), I’m simply suggesting that you might realise your meals could become a whole lot more enjoyable through giving the chopsticks a chance. Or you might just find them flat-out frustrating and revert back to your fork immediately to consume your meals, which is also completely understandable. Your choice!