Computer Retrains Kids to Eat Properly

Susan Farley
Published Online: Wednesday, September 1, 2004

A tiny computer was recently developed by researchers in England to advise children on what to eat and when to stop eating in an effort to promote healthier nutrition and prevent obesity. According to Bristol University professor Julian Hamilton-Shield,MD, "In obese people, hunger signals from the stomach to the brain stop functioning. But the new computer system teaches the children how to receive these messages again." This computer, known as a Mandometer, records what the children are eating and how much, and can indicate when a child is eating too fast. Nutritionist Seema Khajuria doubts the effectiveness of this computer as children would need strict supervision for it to work properly and points out "had these children been strong willed, they would not have been obese in the first place." Researchers expect the system to be market-ready within 2 years, with it first being used primarily in medical clinics and perhaps later as a self-monitoring system.

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