Talking Plate To Be Trialled By NHS To Tackle Obesity Crisis

The Talking Plate That Politely Tells You When You To Stop Scoffing

A talking plate that warns people to eat more slowly when they wolf down their food is to be used in an NHS initiative, to help fight obesity.

The £1,500 Mandometer monitors how much food is leaving the plate and politely reminds those who scoff too fast to "Please eat more slowly".

The Swedish device is comprised of a scale, which is placed under the plate, and a small computer screen that shows a graphic of the food gradually disappearing as the meal is eaten.

A red line on the screen indicates the actual speed of eating while a blue line acts as a benchmark to show a healthy rate. The faster the user eats, the further the red line angles away from the blue one.

When the line deviates too much, a computer voice reminds them to slow down.

The device also encourages users to think about when they have had enough by flashing messages on the screen asking, "Are you feeling full yet?"

The initiative, by Bristol University in conjunction with GPs and nurses, will target around 600 families with at least one obese parent and child.

A smaller study will take place at the Biomedical Research Unit of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, with a further 12 obese adults and children who carry a mutation of a gene linked to the brain's ability to recognise feeling full.

Lead researcher, Julian Hamilton-Shield, said: "It will be a powerful tool to help families retrain their eating habits."

Per Soderson, who helped to devise the plate, said: "Telling an obese person to diet will not work because dieting slows down the metabolism in preparation for starvation.

"More important is the speed you eat and to recognise when you're full."

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