Study: Diet Glasses Trick Wearers into Eating Less

| by Michael Allen

Researchers at the University of Tokyo in Japan have developed special goggles that use computer wizardry and augmented reality to make people believe they are eating bigger portions of junk food, when they are actually eating smaller bites.

Cameras mounted on the goggles send images to a computer, which magnifies the size of the treat to the wearer, while keeping his or her hand the same size.

In experiments, volunteers consumed nearly 10 percent less when the biscuits that they were eating appeared 50 percent bigger.

Professor Michitaka Hirose told AFP that he was interested in how computers can trick the human mind: "How to fool various senses or how to build on them using computers is very important in the study of virtual reality."

In another project, Hirose's team developed a 'meta cookie,' where the goggles use scent bottles and visual trickery to fool the wearer into thinking the snack they are eating is anything but a plain biscuit.

Users can set the device to their favorite taste so they think they are eating a chocolate or strawberry-flavored cookie.

Hirose says experiments so far have shown 80 percent of subjects are fooled.

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