The effect of chewing gum on learning as measured by test performance

K. L. Allen, R. G. Norman, R. V. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research project investigated the relationship between chewing gum and short-term learning, as prior studies had reported conflicting results. Incoming first-year dental students were assigned by stratified randomisation to either a group who chewed gum during lectures and examinations or a group that did not chew gum. The research subjects listened to a taped lecture on dental anatomy and then completed two examinations: (1) a test of specific knowledge which was a multiple-choice test on the dental anatomy lecture material; and (2) a test of generalised knowledge which was a standardised reading comprehension exam. Statistical analysis of the results showed that in a group of graduate students with a history of high academic performance, there was no difference in learning between research subjects who chewed gum compared with those who did not chew gum, as measured by performance on either test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Chewing gum
  • Learning
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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