A new study has given students the perfect excuse to chew gum in classrooms: the "mouth-exerciser" can boost academic performance of teenagers.
That's the conclusion of a new research from Baylor College of Medicine.
The study examined whether chewing Wrigley sugar-free gum can lead to better academic performance in a "real life" classroom setting.
From analyses, researchers found that students who chewed gum showed an increase in standardized math test scores and their final grades were better compared to those who didn't chew gum. Students who chewed gum had a significantly greater increase in their standardized math test scores after 14 weeks of chewing gum in math class and while doing homework compared to those who did not chew gum.
Chewing gum was associated with a three percent increase in standardized math test scores, a small but statistically significant change, the researchers found.
Boffins also found that students who chewed gum had final grades that were significantly better than those who didn't chew gum.
Previous research conducted in a laboratory setting has shown that gum chewing can help reduce stress, improve alertness and relieve anxiety. The current study builds on this 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 has been presented in the "Late Breaking" Poster Session at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2009.