Lifestyle & Belief

Diet goggles to make food look bigger unveiled by Japanese researchers


Tokyo University professor Michitaka Hirose (R) and his team developed a camera-equipped special goggle, which makes cookies bigger to help users' diet at his laboratory in Tokyo on June 2, 2012. Hirose conducted an experiment, asking examinees to eat as many cookies as they want with and without the glasses. The results showed they ate 9.3 percent less on average with the goggle showing cookies 1.5 times bigger than they actually are and ate 15 percent more with cookies looking two-thirds of their real size.



Japanese researchers have found a way to trick you into eating less. The bad news? You'd have to wear huge diet goggles, which could be an awkward thing to throw on before a picnic or a romantic dinner.

University of Tokyo researchers are trying to use computer technology to fool appetites, Discovery News reported. In experiments, the researchers mounted an appetite-fooling device to goggles, put the goggles on people and then sent images from the goggles to a computer. Participants were told to eat as many cookies as they wanted. Researchers had programmed the goggles in a way that magnified to size of the cookies. However, the size of the wearer's hand remained the same.

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When a cookie looked twice as big, the subjects ate almost 10 percent less, Discovery News said. But when the images of the cookies were manipulated to look smaller than their real size, subjects ate 15 percent more.

Professor Michitaka Hirose is also trying to develop a "meta cookie", in which headgear uses scents and visual manipulation to fool the participants into thinking the biscuit they are eating is a cookie, the Associated Foreign Press reported.

"Reality is in your mind," he told the AFP.

However, he has no plans to put the devices for sale yet, the AFP said.