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Diet Glasses: The Next Must-Have Weight-Loss Product?

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LESS FUN THAN BEER GOGGLES
DailyFeed

Remember that old diet trick of placing our meals on smaller pieces of dinnerware so as to make our portions appear bigger; and thus duping our brains into thinking we were eating more while becoming sated with less?

It was a good idea in theory. But let’s face it, it was too simple. All the necessary elements to get started on the plan were already right there in our kitchen cabinets. There was no purchase required. And everyone knows that shedding pounds doesn’t really work unless we’re forking over heaps of our disposable income for products and services that promise to help us achieve our weight-loss goals.

Fortunately, a team of Japanese scientists have figured out a way to turn that simple downsizing-your-china principle into an elaborate technological invention. Thanks to a researchers from the University of Tokyo, diet glasses may someday fill the marketplace void for the gadget version of a smaller plate.

Piggybacking on the augmented reality with which Google’s (GOOG) Project Glass has been puttering around -- not to mention the dozens of iPhone (AAPL) apps that already use the digital overlay technology -- these specs offer the wearer a tweaked version of the meal in front of them. They work by taking pictures of the food, sending the images to a computer where they are magnified, and then placing that super-sized portion on top of the real-world one.

Early studies of the prototype suggest the fulfilled effect works to some degree in subjects wearing the goggles. When cookies were made to appear twice their actual size, participants consumed nearly 10 percent less. Conversely, they gobbled up 15 percent more when the snack was shrunken down by two-thirds.  

But here’s where the diet glasses really trump the old salad plate substitute: Not only can the size of the item be altered, it can potentially become an entirely new food group. A so-called "meta cookie" -- that replaced the sight of a plain biscuit with the image of a chocolate or strawberry baked good -- gave a whopping 80 percent of volunteers the sensory experience of eating a sweet treat.

Imagine all the British school administrators who would finally have a better way of getting children to eat their meat before having any pudding.
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