There’s a new weapon in the battle against obesity, anorexia and bulimia.
It’s called the Mandometer.
The Mandometer: A device that teaches you how to eat
Here’s how it works:
You place your plate on the scale and put food on the plate. The computer registers the decrease in the weight of the plate over the course of the meal and in real time shows a curve for your eating speed in grams per minute. At regular intervals, a satiety scale is shown on the computer screen and you are asked to evaluate your satiety by pointing at the screen.
The computer saves the satiety evaluations and generates another curve that shows your feelings of satiety during the meal compared to that of a normally eating individual. When you practice eating, your disordered eating pattern and the normal eating pattern are shown on the screen simultaneously. You are asked to model both your eating rate and feelings of satiety to more closely conform to the normal patterns.
And for seven years, mandometer clinics in Sweden, Australia & the U.S. have been using this tool to help their anorexic & bulimic patients reclaim their healthy eating patterns.
So, what does this have to do with obesity?
Like anorexics & bulimics, I think we would all agree that there is a strong link between obesity and our disordered eating behaviors and sense of satiety.
And these bad habits are precisely what the Mandometer was designed to correct.
But, when it comes to treating obesity, everything we’re talking about here is theoretical. What about the research?
Glad you asked.
In this paper, published online in the BMJ, the Mandometer has been shown to be more successful in helping obese children and adolescents lose weight than traditional methods.
At the end of the 12 month study, the Mandometer group not only had a significantly lower average body mass index and body fat score than the standard care group, but their portion size was smaller and their speed of eating was reduced by 11% compared with a gain of 4% in the other group.
Obviously, more research needs to be done – different settings, different patients, different control methods…
However, the idea of using the Mandometer to help people retrain the eating behavior and re-set their satiety level seems pretty exciting to me.
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