This site is intended for health professionals only

Gadget helps obese teen lose weight

A gadget which "trains" people to eat at the correct speed has helped an obese teenager lose four stone.

Laurence Willshire, 16, from Bristol, eats his meals from a set of scales, which are linked up to the Mandometer computer.

The device records and stores the weight of the food as he removes it from his plate and tells him when he is eating more than he should.

Last year, before he took part in a trial at the Childhood Obesity Clinic at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Laurence weighed 21 stone.

Now he has trimmed down to 17 stone and is well on the way to reaching his target weight of 15 stone.

Ian Probert, a spokesman for the hospital, said the gadget works by training the patient to eat at a slower rate.

"It slows the rate of consumption and by having gaps between mouthfuls it trains the patient to control their rate of eating, the rate slows down and the amount of food they consume diminishes," he said.

Laurence, who lives in the Horfield area of Bristol, said the gadget has helped him lose weight and boosted his confidence.

He said: "I used to eat very, very fast. I could eat a very large meal in about three minutes. Now I take about 16 minutes.

"The treatment has given me so much confidence - I feel very, very good about myself now."

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Copyright © PA Business 2007