Childhood obesity is a big problem, no matter who you ask–but there may be a new gadget to help stop it.  It’s called a mandometer, and it weighs a plate of food at the beginning of a meal, and then tracks the rate at which food leaves the plate.  It then gives an audible warning to slow down if it believes you’re eating too fast.

Call it a MANDible speedOMETER, a measure of jaw speed–it works on the basic principle that if you eat slower, you’ll eat less overall because your brain will send signals that you’re full.  The faster you eat, the more likely you are to override the signals from the brain saying that your stomach is full.

Early tests of the mandometer are encouraging, with 106 obese children taking on a 12-month trial, with eating speeds falling, and portion sizes falling to match.  No word on how much actual weight the obese children lost, but when portion sizes fall it’s really sort of axiomatic that weight will fall to match.