If you’re like a runaway train come dinner time, this high-tech fork could help you put the brakes on
Plate lickers, speed eaters and scoffers, hold your horses. It’s not justbad manners to wolf down a meal, it can also lead to a bigger waistlineand early grave. However, the world’s first ‘smart’ fork unveiled CES 2013 could help you exercise restraint at the table.
The HAPIfork vibrates in your hand if you’re scoffing too much or too quickly thanks to an onboard microchip and USB connectivity.
The high-tech utensil measures the time it takes to eat your meal, the number of ‘fork servings’ per minute and intervals between mouthfuls to alert scarfers to their gobbling ways.
Speedy eating can contribute to weight gain since it takes your brain around 20 minutes to recognise that you feel full.
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found heavier people eat faster than slimmer people. A laboratory study found people who eat faster polish off about a third more food than slow eaters, swallowing 88 grams per minute compared to just 57 grams. Researchers also found people with a high body mass index (BMI) eat faster than people with a low BMI.
“It takes time for your body to process fullness signals, so slower eatingmay allow time for fullness to register in the brain before you’ve eaten too much,” says Kathleen Melanson, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Rhode Island.
Rushing meals can also cause digestive problems and gastric refluxsince food is often poorly chewed and harder for the digestive system to break down.
Tips for better digestion
“You can be told to eat slowly but you usually forget,” says inventor Jacques Lepine. “This way, your mind doesn’t have to do the work.”
The HAPIfork was unveiled at the technology trade show CES 2013 and will HAPIfork will be launching on Kickstarter in March, with plans for the product to be available in the United States by April 2013.