There's a reason why your partner finishes a meal before you.

No matter how hungry I am, the same rule applies: My husband will always finish his meal before I even seem to get started.

I put it down to me being a slow eater. Maybe I talk too much, maybe I’m too distracted. Whatever the reason, I’m usually one of the last to perform the ceremonial placing of the cutlery in the middle of the plate.

Bless those scientists though. They’ve recently discovered that there is a very good reason why women constantly feel pressured to gobble down the rest of their meal because their partner finished an eternity ago.

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A recent study published in the Physiology and Behaviour Journal, found that men and women have completely different chewing habits from one another. (Post continues after gallery.)

The finding was actually quite accidental, with the original aim of the research being to try and discover whether direct links could be made between people’s natural chewing habits and their body weight.

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The study, which focussed on 48 students from South Korea’s Semyung University, asked it’s participants to consume exactly 152 grams of rice while researchers observed them.

Image: istock

Electrodes were used to monitor muscle activity in the face and jaw, as well as other factors such as amount of food consumed per bite, grams of food eaten per minute, chewing strength, number of chews per mouthful, number of chewing motions and total length of time taken to finish the portion of rice.

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What the results showed was that on average, men used a much greater force in their chewing patterns than women and tended to take larger bites. OK, so that doesn't exactly seem ground breaking on its own. Men's facial composition is usually larger than a women.

Image: istock

But, for women the researchers also discovered that while we appear to chew at the same speed as men, we also happen to chew the mouthful a greater amount of times, resulting in us finishing a meal a lot later than our male dining companions.

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Do you notice a difference in the time it takes your partner to eat a meal?