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Google Glass Could Be the Virtual Dieting Pill of the Future 159

MrSeb writes "In a year or two, augmented reality (AR) headsets such as Google Glass may double up as a virtual dieting pill. New research from the University of Tokyo shows that a very simple AR trick can reduce the amount that you eat by 10% — and yes, the same trick, used in the inverse, can be used to increase food consumption by 15%, too. The AR trick is very simple: By donning the glasses, the University of Tokyo's special software 'seamlessly' scales up the size of your food. You pick up an Oreo cookie, and then the software automatically scales it up to 1.5 times its natural size. Using a deformation algorithm, the person's hand is manipulated so that the giant Oreo appears (somewhat) natural. In testing, this simple trick was enough to reduce the amount of food eaten by 10%. The inverse is also true: shrinking the Oreo down to two-thirds its natural size increased food consumption by 15%. This new research dovetails neatly with an area of nutritional science that has received a lot of attention in the United States of Obesity recently: That the size of the serving/plate/cup/receptacle directly affects your intake. The fact is, there's a lot more to dieting than simply reducing your calorific intake and exercising regularly. Your state of mind as you sit down to eat, and your perception of what you're eating, are just as important — which is exciting news, because both of those factors can be hacked."
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Google Glass Could Be the Virtual Dieting Pill of the Future

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @06:34PM (#42047881)

    I think the real question is, do we take visual indicators of food intake based on experience, or is it hard wired? If the former, this trick will only work for a while until your brain finally realizes "hey, I'm not getting as much food as I used to, maybe I should adjust portion sizes up", and now all of a sudden you are used to eating portions that "look" much bigger, and the gain from such trickery is lost.

    Not to mention what might happen when you stop using the glasses - all of a sudden all the food appears much smaller, and you think you can eat more of it.

  • by Onymous Coward ( 97719 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @07:26PM (#42048637) Homepage

    Does the constant advertising of overly large portions of food also train us to think that such portion sizes are normal? And if we eat a healthy size instead, do we feel like we're not having enough?

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