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Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

Gum-chewing Increases Brain Power

Gum-chewing Increases Brain Power
Hannah McGee

Recent studies show that gum-chewing increases brain power and improves test scores. Four math classes led by Dr. Craig Johnston from Baylor College of Medicine were tested on math and reading skills. Two of the classes chewed gum and the other two did not. After 14 weeks of chewing gum, the results showed that there was a three percent increase in standardized test scores for those who chewed gum.Researchers at Wrigley Science Institution tested the performance of students in a real-life classroom setting. The research found that students chewing gum had better concentration and stress management than those not chewing gum.

“It’s as if when I chew gum, all the answers come to me,” freshman Alexis Brewer said. “It helps my brain start working. I can really feel it stimulating my mind.”

In a study conducted at the University of Northumbria in Britain, gum-chewing proved to enhance memorization skills for test takers. The experiments involved a random sample of 75 people. After completing a memory test, gum chewers had a score 26 percent higher than those non-chewers.

Senior Aziz Rajan agrees with this study and claims gum chewing can definitely bring better memorization skills.

“It’s better to chew gum because doing nothing is a non-thinking process,” Rajan said. “Chewing gum requires some brain power. And if the brain isn’t doing something like chewing gum, it’s going to start wandering. Focusing your brain power on chewing will give it something to do instead of wandering off and not keeping focus.”

The students in study at Baylor College had the same results. Students in the test reported an improvement on scores and concentration tests by 86 percent.

“I’m definitely not distracted by it at all,” sophomore Sydney Loggins said. “I chew gum during tests and quizzes. I can definitely concentrate better and it keeps me awake.”

Freshman Michelle Inciarte claims to have problems with gum despite the benefits. She said that gum-chewing can be very messy.

“While gum chewing could benefit students by helping them concentrate, littering and sticking gum under tables is still a major issue,” Inciarte said. “When I was in first grade I chewed gum. I loved gum. My teacher almost caught me so I put it in my hand. After that, she told us we had to go to P.E. I forgot the gum was in my hand and rubbed my head. Sadly, the gum got caught in my hair. I did the entire exercise as if I was stretching my arms by putting both my hands on my head to hide the gum. I made it through the entire day. When I got home I used peanut butter to try and get it out.”

Like Inciarte, Loggins thinks littering and chewing gum can be issues.

“I think it should be allowed, but you don’t want it on the carpet or furniture,” Loggins said. “I guess that’s the main reason it’s not allowed.”

Rajan argues that students should get a chance to chew gum at school.

“If it’s allowed then it’s less likely to be placed under chairs.” Rajan said. “It can be a privileged system to where if you are caught sticking gum under chairs, then you are no longer allowed to chew it.”

Biology teacher Kim Moore argues that chewing gum carries disadvantages, especially in her class.

“It’s unhealthy,” Moore said. “It contains a lot of sugar and germs can get into it while working on labs.”

Sugar free gum may be an alternative to the sugary gum Moore describes. Brands such as Trident are sugar and gluten free gum that can help prevent cavities.

The benefits caused by gum chewing have not been determined.

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