University of Tokyo researchers have developed a pair of goggles that trick the mind and stomach into thinking a person has consumed more than he or she really has.
So far, 80 percent of participants have been successfully tricked.
If research develops further, and the goggles become commercialized, the prospects for global weight loss could very well surpass the ever-increasing problem with obesity.
But how do they work?
The concept is relatively simple: the goggles create a virtual reality for the wearer and the image inside the lens shows the food larger than it is. A regular-sized doughnut, for example, could be measured at about four inches in diameter. When the goggles go on, the computer keeps the image of your hand true size, and increases the size of the doughnut. This implies that simply seeing that you're eating a larger snack makes you feel fuller faster and consequently cause you to eat less.
Participants who took part in the studies ate 10 percent less with the glasses on, and 15 percent more without them, according to the Times Colonist.
Professor Michitaka Hirose, one of the leading developers for the diet glasses told AFP, "reality is in your mind." The foods that the goggles have been tested on (which at this point in research are limited to only cookie and doughnut shapes) were magnified to appear 50 percent bigger than their actual size.
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Hirose also developed another contraption of sight blocking head-wear that tricks the mind into thinking healthier qualities of food are more palatable to the wearer. For this project, special sensors tell the mind it's eating a chocolate or strawberry flavored cookie, when in fact, the food being consumed is a plain, no frills biscuit.
At this rate, it's only a matter of time before a stock of celery can taste and feel like a Snickers bar.
Should headway be made with this grossly understated school science project, it could allow people looking to lose weight an alternative option to the otherwise conventional methods of healthy diet and exercise.