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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Myth Busting Monday - Seven Years to Digest Gum

MYTH: It takes seven years to digest gum

This is one of my favorite myths. I have believed this myth for as long as I can remember.

Here is a statement about swallowing gum:

While it may prove a bit more difficult to break down than organic foodstuffs, chewing gum gets no special treatment from the digestive system. Doctors figure this old wives' tale was invented to prevent kids from swallowing the rubbery substance.[source]
Here is a quote from the myth busting website snopes:
This oft-repeated claim may stem from genuine confusion over a term commonly applied to chewing gum: indigestible. Although gum resists the body's efforts to break it down (hence the 'indigestible' designation), it does not linger in the stomach. Gum is eliminated as human waste in the same way - and at the same rate - as any other swallowed matter. Granted, it comes out the far end relatively unchanged by the trip, but it does come out on schedule.snopes
Although this myth mainly originates by parents telling it to their children, I don't ever remember my parents saying this to me. But I do remember playing soccer growing up, before a game we would always get asked if we were chewing gum and if we were we would have to spit it out, due to the fact that it could be a choking hazard.

After testing this myth myself I am 98% sure that this myth is false.

What are your thoughts about this myth, let us know in the comments

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