London: In what could be a solution to
childhood obesity, European scientists have invented a
talking, computerised weighing device that tracks how quickly
food is gobbled off the plate.
The device called mandometer, which was developed by
scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, keeps tab
during meal times and tells the user if they are wolfing down
meals too fast - a habit experts have linked to weight gain.
In a trial with 106 obese children the gadget showed
promising results, as after 12 months of use the kids weighed
less and ate smaller portions.
Their speed of eating was reduced by 11 per cent
compared with a gain of 4 per cent in a comparison group, the
British Medical Journal said.
Experts believe eating too fast can interfere with an
inbuilt signalling system that tells the brain to stop eating
when the stomach becomes full.
But early in life, with instructions like "make sure you
eat it all up", children are taught to override these signals,
the BBC reported.
The scientists set out to design a device to pace eating,
primarily to help patients with the eating disorder bulimia,
who tend to eat quickly.