There’s nothing better than chewing a minty stick of gum after a meal. It freshens your breath and gives you something else to chew for a while. We’ve all heard sugary gum can cause cavities and swallowing it might not be the smartest idea, but there’s quite a lot of other information and history about bubblegum you might not know. Here are 25 Fun Facts About Bubblegum.
William F. Semple was one of the first to file a patent for chewing gum.
In 1869, doctor William F. Semple designed and patented a chewing gum from rubber he claimed could help with tooth decay and strengthen your jaw. The ingredients in his gum included powdered licorice and charcoal.
In 1848, John Curtis of Maine was the first to widely commercialize chewing gum, being ahead of his time. He developed a machine to mass produce it and started up a factory that produced eighteen hundred boxes a day. However, this gum needed to be dipped in powdered sugar to stay sweet.
Walter Diemer was the first person to invent bubble gum even though he was an accountant by trade. He played around with gum recipes in his spare time. After discovering the candy, he sold it to mom and pop shops around the country and they sold out in a day. However, he didn’t patent the invention, and copycats popped up all over the place, resulting in intense competition. He never received royalties for the invention.
Turkey has the most chewing gum companies in the world.
The country of Turkey must love their chewing gum. They rank as having the most chewing gum companies in the world, while the United States is the second.
The Soviet Union didn't allow gum until 1977.
Like most capitalist items, chewing gum was strictly forbidden in the Soviet Union up until 1977. Much like treating it like a narcotic, if you were caught, you’d be thrown in prison.
Mint, Spearmint, and Peppermint are the United States favorite flavors.
Mint, spearmint, and peppermint are the top favorites among American gum chewers. Berry, bubble gum, and cinnamon also hit the list.
Chewing gum can make you eat more, less healthy meals.
A number of new studies have shown that chewing gum may make you less hungry for a time but will increase your hunger at meals, making you eat more. Also, the minty flavors of gum make people crave junk food rather than healthier items like fruits and vegetables.
Every year, people chew 100,000 tons of bubble gum.
With 100,000 tons of bubble gum being chewed every year, we can only imagine how many desk, tables, and chairs have gum stuck underneath.
Sugar free gum is full of artificial sweeteners.
While chewing sugary gum can give you cavities, chewing sugar-free gum could lead to other health problems because it contains aspartame. While aspartame in small doses is approved by the FDA, many other countries have banned aspartame for its carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties.
Swallowed gum staying in your body for seven years is a myth.
While your digestive system can’t break down gum, it won’t last in your system for seven years. It’ll be pushed out through your intestines like everything else.
Chewing gum burns 11 calories an hour.
While it’s not exactly an exercise, chewing gum still burns 11 calories an hour. We wouldn’t recommend chewing too vigorously.
Chewing gum improves memory.
If you want to remember things more, consider chewing gum. Studies have shown that chewing increases activity in the hippocampus which improves short-term and long-term memory.
Kids spend a half a billion dollars on gum every year.
It’s a no-brainer that kids love gum. In North America, kids especially love it, spending over a half a billion dollars a year on it.
Chewing gum can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Chewing a stick of gum once in a while isn’t going to do much, but if you eat a lot, like say 35 sticks a day, it could cause problems. Certain gums have sorbitol in them which has been known in high amounts to cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, and cramps. Even gums without the ingredient can cause gas because you’re sucking in more air into your body.
Gum is banned in Singapore.
Because of its ability to make the city look dirty due to people sticking gum everywhere, gum is banned in Singapore with a fine of up to $6,000.
Chewing gum can cause jaw problems and headaches.
While it’s rare, chewing an excessive amount of gum can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems due to misalignment or the wearing down of the muscles and joint.
Chewing gum after meals may prevent heart burn.
Do you have frequent heart burn? It might be a good idea to chew gum after a meal. New studies have shown chewing gum can reduce acid levels in the esophagus, helping relieve acid reflux.
Chewing gum on a plane can keep your ears from popping.
The air pressure up on a mountain or a plane can be pretty frustrating, but if you frequently chew gum, it can help your ears from popping and relieve the pressure.
Humans are the only animals on Earth that chew gum.
It might seem like an obvious thing to say that humans are the only animals on earth to eat gum, but when monkeys were given gum, they chewed it a few times and then put it in their hair.
Chewing gum has sheep byproducts.
In order to keep chewing gum soft, gum manufacturers use lanolin, a byproduct of the glands of a sheep. It isn’t harmful to your health or anything. It’s just kind of gross.
The largest bubble gum bubble
Chad Fell made the Guinness Book of World Records for largest bubble out of bubblegum ever blown. The bubble reached 20 inches (50.8 cm) around.
In the 1920's, Prohibition heavily increased the sale of gum.
With alcohol banned in the United States in the 1920’s, gum sales skyrocketed. People who still drank alcohol needed a way to mask the smell on their breath.
The oldest piece of chewing gum is 9,000 years.
Archaeologists found a 9,000-year-old piece of “gum” in Sweden. The teeth marks were still shown from the ancient teen chewing on it.
Chewing gum while dicing onions can help prevent tears.
If your eyes tend to water up when you dice onions, it might help to chew some minty gum. Though, it might be hard to chew and dice at the same time.
Gary Duschl made the longest gum wrapper chain in the world.
Gary Buschl created the longest gum wrapper chain in the world. It measures 89,432 ft, 4 in (27,259 m) long and is completely made from Wrigley, Juicy Fruit, Big Red, Doublemint, Spearmint, and Winterfresh gum. It took him 51 years to make it.
Photo: Feature Image: Mary (Mayr) from Southern California, U.S.A., Bubblegum, CC BY 2.0, 25. William F. Semple (Fair Use: No Free Images Available), 24. Wikipedia Common.com (Public Domain), 23. Walter Diemer (Fair use: No Free Images Available), 22. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 21. NuclearVacuum, Map-Flag of the Soviet Union, CC BY-SA 3.0, 20. KingaNBM, A pack of chewing gum, Wrigley’s, 1940s, CC BY-SA 4.0, 19. Wikipedia Commons.com (public Domain), 18. David Fulmer via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 17. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 16. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 15. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 14. A Health Blog via flickr. CC BY 2.0 , 13. MaxPixel (Public Domain), 12. BruceBlaus. When using this image in external sources it can be cited as: Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., Blausen 0432 GastroIntestinalSystem, CC BY 3.0, 11. Cory Doctorow via flickr. CC BY 2.0 , 10. Shanghai killer whale, Tension-headache, CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 8. צביה, Earrr, CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 6. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 5. Jorge Torres via youtube (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 4. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 3. Cindy Funk via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 2. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 1. freepublic.com (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only)