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CAN A COMPUTERISED PLATE REALLY HELP TACKLE CONCERNS OVER RISING OBESITY RATES IN CHILDREN?

Posted Feb 15 2010 5:00am

 

CAN A COMPUTERISED PLATE REALLY HELP TACKLE CONCERNS OVER RISING OBESITY RATES IN CHILDREN?

We know from previous research that people who are overweight tend to eat much more quickly whichin turncan mean that they eat a lot more food than is necessary before feeling full.

 Nowbased on this premisea new studyrecently published in The British Medical Journalfound that overweight children and teenagers can be helped to eat more slowly and reach a healthier weight by using a mandometer – a special plate with built-in weighing scales which is connected to a computer.

Displayed on a monitorchildren can see graphs of both how fast they are actually eatingand the speed at which they should be eating. When the child exceeds the latterthe computer asks them to slow down. Whilst they are eatingthe children are also able to let the computer know how hungry or full they are feeling.

In this recent trialchildren using the device over a period of 12 months substantially reduced both their BMI & the amount of food they consumed at mealtimes. Perhaps of even greater significance was that 6 months after the trial ended these results appeared to have been sustainedindicating that newhealthy eating patterns had been learned!

The increasing prevalence of obesity among children has been linked to various health problemsincluding high blood pressurediabetesheart disease and stroke. Recent research has gone so far as to indicate this could reverse the historicaly recent trend in increased life expectancy! With such a prognosis in the offinganything that might help combat such an outcome has to be seriously considered! The indications are that the results of the recent study are reasonably reliable – it was a large and well organized trial. It would certainly seem to merit further investigation! Howeverit remains to be seen what steps would be taken in the current financial & political climate to ensure universal access to the mandometer for those of our children who need it!

 

 

 

 

 



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