NHS trials a talking plate to help people lose weight
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has launched trials of a talking plate in an attempt to help people to lose weight, the Daily Mail is reporting.
The Mandometer, which costs £1,500, works by monitoring the amount of food on a plate and the speed at which people are eating it.
If the plate senses that people are eating too quickly, it will talk to the user and politely request, “Please eat more slowly.”
The device also tries to get people to avoid eating for the sake of it and recognise when they are full by asking, “Are you feeling full yet?”
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Created by two Swedish doctors and developed at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the Mandometer has already been used in successful treatments for bulimia and anorexia.
Now doctors are hoping it will be successful in aiding weight loss as it is commonly believed people feel fuller more quickly if they eat and chew food slowly.
The NHS trial of the talking plate is being coordinated by Bristol University and will include approximately 600 families, with at least one obese parent and one obese child.
A separate trial of the Mandometer will be carried out at the Biomedical Research Unit of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and will focus on 12 adults and children who are genetically unable to recognise when they are full due to a gene mutation.
Previous clinical trials of the talking plate have found that after a year of using the talking plate, obese people ate roughly 12-15 percent less than at the start of the trial.
Their weight loss and decreased eating habits continued even after they stopped using the device.
The leader of the NHS trail, Professor Julian Hamilton-Shield, told the Daily Mail: “It will be a powerful tool to help families retrain their eating habits.”
There are two parts to the Mandometer – a scale which is put under a plate and an accompanying computer screen displaying graphics of the weight of the food.
It was passed as an eating disorder treatment in March 2011 by the US Food and Drug Administration and Mandometer clinics have so far been set up in Australia and Sweden.
The Mandometer explained:
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