Dinner plate complains when you eat too fast


Here's a plate that chides you when you eat too fast.

The idea behind the Mandometer is to train overweight people to eat more slowly so that they will feel satiated sooner and eat less, thereby losing weight.

An 18 month study conducted by researchers at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children in Britain has indicated that the Mandometer is an effective tool to combat obesity in children and teens. The team tested 106 clinically obese patients ranging in age from nine to 17 years old. Some of the patients had to use the Mandometer while the others received standard anti-obesity treatment. All of them were urged to practice some form of physical exercise for 60 minutes a day and to follow a healthy diet.

The results of the study were published in an article in the British Medical Journal. When participants were assessed a year into the study, the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the group who had used the Mandometer had fallen by an average of 2.1%, which is about three times more than the group who had received the standard treatment. At the end of the study 18 months later, those results still held steady.

Talking plate scale urges diners to slow down (Via Nudge)


    1. Yes. I see the problem as well. Pick up a piece of the sandwich and the device thinks you ate half the food in an instant. Set it back down after a bite and it must assume you’ve just thrown it back up.

    2. Yup! Same problem if you had a bowl of noodles and wanted to pick it up and slurp some liquid as you go…

  1. Or you can just:
    Eat until you’re comfortable instead of full or bloated
    Put less food on your plate

  2. So, the mandometer users lowered their BMI by 2.1% over 18 months, and that’s 3x better than the standard. So, the standard is a 0.7% BMI reduction? Is it just me, or do *neither* of those sound very impressive at all? Although, the idea of a chiding plate is kind of cool. I wonder if you can customize the sound file it uses. … ‘d be cool to put that clip from “The Wall” in there, of something: “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!!!!!”

  3. Was just chuckling again to myself… So, this machine chides people for finishing too quickly in the kitchen. What if they next apply that same technology to the bedroom?

  4. It’s funny to see people say “Oh, they should just learn to eat less, they should just learn to eat only until they’re full.” That seems to be exactly the gadget’s virtue–that it’s an aid in learning to do just that.

  5. I’m pretty sure the Mandometer was actually developed to help treat anorexia and bulimia. It’s certainly used for that too and I’m surprised this isn’t mentioned anywhere in the article.

  6. @#6 rawdiant:

    That’s what I was thinking. A 2.1% BMI reduction is barely noticeable. For me, 6’2 and 185lbs, that would be losing 3 lbs. Any pudgy idiot could lose that in under a month if they tried, and if that’s all that 18 months of eating slower achieves, screw it!

    I also don’t know why they specified %BMI. Losing a %BMI is exactly the same as losing %bodyweight unless your height changes. Perhaps they meant that the participants lost 2.1 BMI, which would be more significant (15lbs for me).

  7. I had only heard of the mandometer in the context of treating patients with eating disorders. The meter can tell you both how much you have to put on your plate and how fast you should be eating it.
    Makes sense they are also researching for use with obese people.

  8. As anon commenter 12 stated, a similar device has been used as part of treatment for people with anorexia nervosa. In this case the device encourages faster eating, as people with anorexia nervosa can push food around their plates to delay eating, or to make it look like they have actually been eating when they may not have been. The device is coupled with supervision over eating.

  9. I can see this being useful. Last night my husband cooked a delicious (and hearty) stew. Soon after I finished I realized I’d eaten too much but I still felt hungry: the hormonal signals hadn’t caught up to the stomach tension.

    I may have been eating faster than normal because not only had I been smelling it cooking for more than an hour but also it was soft. But it wasn’t _that_ fast since we had been talking during the meal.

  10. Isn’t this just another version of those automatic dog feeders which allow your dog to eat only so much every hour so that you can live the dog alone while you go away for a few days?

  11. [Boingboing member, posting anonymously for obvious reasons]

    My girlfriend needs one of these. She will eat a plate of food, then go for seconds and finish that, all before I have finished my first helping.

    Sadly, I can’t think of a way to suggest this product — or any other way to eat more slowly and thereby eat less — without hurting her feelings.

  12. The idea is to train people to eat slower, so that it will become a natural habit, rather than be a “diet” per se, which all fail because as soon as the diet is over, they go back to doing what they always do.

  13. The real problem with these sorts of studies is that they often don’t look at whether overweight people actually eat faster than the norm.

    Also, 2% or 3 lbs does contribute to the obesity epidemic. But this has more to do with how “epidemic” is defined than anything having to do with actual health.

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