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Displays Software Hardware

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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  • Do You Wear Glasses? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @06:19PM (#42047669)

    As a wearer of bifocals, I've seen the effects of objects being magnified and its dimensions being distorted form reality. But, I've also seen that the brain learns to compensate for this within a day or two and everything returns to normal.

    I suspect that if one was to experience this distortion only when eating that it might take a while longer for the brain to compensate. But, compensate it will.

    If you want to lose weight, eat less! You fat bastard!

  • Re:Ha ha... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @06:35PM (#42047895) Homepage Journal

    I don't know about others, but I always decide what I'm going to eat beforehand. Then I always finish what's on my plate. Maybe a couple of times a year if I'm feeling ill or something, I will take a break and finish my food later.

    The last couple of nights I've had 14" stuffed crust plain pizza with extra meat toppings that I added myself. I'm 6'1" and 168lbs (185cm, 76kg). I get regular light to moderate exercise, and eat whatever I want. The key being that I don't want to eat sugary snacks and drinks. I actually find it hard to keep my weight on unless I eat a lot - whereas when I was eating donuts and drinking fizzy pop type drinks every day, I was slowly gaining weight.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:36PM (#42049467)

    When I initially read the bit "the same trick, used in the inverse, can be used to increase food consumption", I admit it got my attention. Although speaking as someone with extreme digestive problems, I seriously doubt this little visual "trick" would have any effect on me what so ever.

    However your advice of "If you want to lose weight, eat less! You fat bastard!" pretty much struck a nerve.

    My problem is the exact reverse, an almost total lack of any form of appetite.
    I will, if I'm lucky at the best of times, feel hungry once a week. The rest of the time it feels as if I have just eaten a large meal a few moments ago, except that it lasts pretty much 24/7.

    I'm 6'0, over 30, and have to fight to stay over 100lb.
    For me it's a daily (sometimes bi-daily) struggle to literally force myself to eat while feeling full, all the while fighting back nausea at the very thought of it.
    The most I've ever weighed was 130lb while on a heavy steroid treatment for six months. Specifically Megestrol, which is generally prescribed to cancer patients in their last stages.

    All too often, people such as yourself will completely dismiss any potential medical reason that affects body weight, simply because for a large number of people it is a self-induced condition.
    I however can't help but realize some overweight people who DO starve themselves would feel similar to me, of course in reverse.

    Perhaps if you had qualified your statements, they might not be so enraging, but alas you did not. Some people quite literally can not help it, be it for physical medical reasons, or even just mental problems which I might add can feel just as real as the physical ones. All because a few people can not control themselves.
    Not only would your advice simply Not Work for everyone, but in some cases could be quite damaging and unhealthy. Worse, you seem to completely dismiss away the fact the root of a single persons problem is what needs addressed, and it is not always eating unhealthy.

    I'm sorry for the rant here, but it's these such attitudes that cause even further damage, not to mention the psychological abuse that results whether
    you intended it or not.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27