Q: When someone swallows chewing gum, does it really take seven years to digest?
A: I’d always heard this one during my childhood, usually as a warning from a parent or teacher.
It turns out, though, that it’s not true. According to snopes.com, gum passes through the system and is eliminated as waste, just like food.
A difference might come from the fact that gum isn’t necessarily digested in the stomach, according to information at the website. There are substances in gum that are resistant to digestion.
Still, it passes through the system and — as the site delicately puts it — “does come out on schedule.”
Since we’re on the topic, here are some fun facts about chewing gum that I found from the official website of the International Chewing Gum Association.
Obviously, one of the most interesting facts is there actually is an organization called the International Chewing Gum Association.
Anyway, here are some facts:
Gum chewing dates to prehistoric days, when men and Women enjoyed chewing on lumps of tree resin.
Gum also was popular with ancient Greeks, who used tree resin to clean their teeth and freshen their breath.
The first commercial chewing gum was introduced by John B. Curtis in 1848. It was called State of Maine Spruce Gum.
The first person to receive a U.S. patent for chewing gum was William F. Semple, in 1869.
His occupation: dentist.
Have you ever chewed Blibber-Blubber? Perhaps you have — well in sort of an early form.
Blibber-Blubber was invented in 1906 and later perfected with a product called Double Bubble.
Bubble gum typically is pink, and there’s a very good reason for that: When the first successful attempt at creating bubble gum was made, pink was the only color the inventor still had.
The average amount of gum chewed by U.S. citizens is 182 sticks per year.
Research conducted by psychologists in the United Kingdom revealed people who chew gum during tests produce significantly higher scores than those who don’t.
If you’ve got a question, email it to bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com or call him at 256-740-5739.