The 5 Calorie Gum Question

If you chew Orbitz, you know that a piece of gum is 5 calories.

But what I’d like to know is this: if I only chew the piece of gum for two minutes, and it’s still got a lot of juicy flavor, and then I spit it out, have I technically only infused 2 1/2 calories? At what point have I chewed the 5 calories out of the piece of gum? Do I have to swallow it and digest it to hit that 5 calorie mark? Shouldn’t the gum manufacturers have a calorie/time limit posted on the back? I.e., 5 calories after chewing for 10 minutes, 2 1/2 calories after chewing for 5 minutes, et al?

These are the questions that rule my life.

10 comments on “The 5 Calorie Gum Question

  1. Wordmaven - March 3, 2007 at 11:18 am -

    What about microwave popcorn? The label lists the calories unpopped. Is that even an option? If it wasn’t, why would they list it? Troubling questions.

  2. dgm - March 3, 2007 at 11:20 am -

    my friend in high school once remarked of that delicious softdrink, tab, “is the one calorie at the top or bottom of the bottle? because if it’s at the bottom, maybe i’ll only drink half.”

  3. Jeff - March 3, 2007 at 11:35 am -

    My mom still won’t let me have gum because I either swallow it or get it stuck in my hair.

  4. Pauly D - March 3, 2007 at 12:07 pm -

    Yes, but what’s the answer to my question?

  5. Stacey - March 3, 2007 at 7:18 pm -

    Personally, I think that if you don’t swallow it, the calories couldn’t possibly count.

  6. CJ - March 3, 2007 at 8:53 pm -

    this is something that my group of friends has been mulling over for a while now.
    welcome to my world Pauly D.

  7. Karl - March 4, 2007 at 2:49 pm -

    Pretty sure you have to swallow the gum for the calories to take hold. I’m convinced.

  8. Rob - March 5, 2007 at 9:50 am -

    What about the calories burned actually chewing the gum? If you chew for 10 minutes, perhaps you work off the 5 calories, and by natural extension, Orbitz could actually have negative calories if you chewed long enough. They could actually have a caloric graph with chewing effort (which is obviously a function of chewing force and chewing speed) on the Y axis and chewing time on the X axis, with a line showing net calories at any given point. But that’s just me, I’m a graph guy.

  9. Pauly D - March 5, 2007 at 11:25 am -

    Karl – See, that’s what I think. Which results in two very startling realizations. First, gum companies are assuming you’ll swallow their gum. Second, you could chew a whole pack, never swallow the gum, and it would be a zero calorie snack. Which rocks!

    Rob – See, this here is the celery negative calorie hypothesis. That the work that goes into eating a food burns off the calories of said food. I also wish unicorns were real, Rob.

  10. Lucine - March 9, 2007 at 11:40 am -

    The calories are contained in the stuff that coats around the gum. Once you have chewed it and gotten its flavor, even for the smallest amount of time, you can have received the calories in it as well.

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