Slideshow: Two-thirds of adults in the Unites States are either overweight or obese, so it’s no surprise that one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is weight loss. To help those who may be struggling to stick to their goals, Technology Review looked at the best gizmos and gadgets to help. These devices track everything from calories burned to the amount of food eaten.
This portable computerized weighing scale was developed by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. It tracks the portion size and rate at which people eat.
“People eat too quickly,” says Julian Hamilton-Shield, a professor Diabetes and Metabolic Endocrinology at the University of Bristol and a researcher at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, both in the U.K. “When people eat too quickly, the neuropeptides [small protein-like molecules] released from the gut don’t have time to tell the brain [they are] full, so the natural thermostat of the body, which controls how much food a person consumes, is circumvented.”
The Mandometer scale is connected to a small computer and measures the amount of food taken from a plate. This is converted into a graphical representation of how many grams are removed from the plate per minute. The user can see the data in real time, and how it compares to an ideal graph created by a nutritionist.
The device was originally developed as a treatment for anorexia and bulimia, but a recent study led by Hamilton-Shield used it for obese adolescents. Subjects who used the scale while eating “lost significantly more weight and more fat, enough to change their body mass index and benefit their metabolic health,” according to a study published online in the British Medical Journal on Tuesday.