Photo courtesy of canada.com
Although there is a new dieting scheme every day, scientists in Japan may have fallen onto the secret weapon for weight loss. Researches at the University of Tokyo unveiled a pair of goggles that changes the size and even flavour of food in the hopes of encouraging people to eat less.
One pair of goggles magnifies the snack to two times its actual size, creating the illusion of a larger portion. Volunteers ate 10 percent less cookies when they looked bigger. The study also found that when a cookie appears smaller participants ate more because they believed they needed to eat more to be satisfied.
Another device uses scent to trick would-be dieters. The same research team developed headgear that could give chocolate or strawberry flavour to plain cookies. Users simply picked their favourite flavour and would experience more satisfaction than if they had just eaten the normal biscuit.
So far, eighty percent of participants have been fooled. With such promising results, the team's leader, Professor Michitaka Hirose, would like to further explore how these inventions can help those who want to lose weight. He is also interested in how computers can fool the mind.
Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.co.uk
These goggles are odd. I think they are an excellent medical device and would be an ideal aid for those struggling to lose large amounts of weight, especially post surgery. It is often hard for patients after gastric bypass surgery to adjust their portion sizes, and this machine would help them recover and hopefully return to a healthy weight.
I would be worried though if this computer was marketed to the general public as a weight loss solution. There are already enough advertisements and miracle products telling us that we are too fat to be attractive. This invention is a double-edged sword: a positive for those who are clinically obese, but extremely negative for those suffering from an eating disorder.
I am glad that Dr. Hirose and his team have no intention of marketing their new technology at the moment. Hopefully, when the time comes, they will be careful whose hands it ends up in.