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Wearable devices that allow users to keep a track of the number of bites during a meal can help them eat less and reduce their body weight, says a study.
People who received a bite count feedback ate less and reduced their overall intake during a meal, the findings showed.
"It was found that the presence of bite count feedback led to a reduction in overall consumption. This finding is consistent with current literature that shows feedback on consumption leads people to consume less," explained Phillip Jasper from the Clemson University in South Carolina, US.
The results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For the study, investigators recruited young adults to consume a meal in the laboratory.
In one of the experiments, some participants were outfitted with bite count feedback devices and given either a small or large plate.
The group that received bite count feedback significantly reduced their intake regardless of the plate size, although those given larger plates still consumed more than those given smaller plates.
"We want people to be mindful of what they're doing. That's what's really important. We want them to be mindful of their eating, and bite count feedback is a way to keep people mindful of their eating behaviours," Jasper said.
Knowing the number of bites is much less abstract than knowing the number of calories.
"Self-monitoring is one of the cornerstones of successful weight loss," Jasper said. "By giving people bite count feedback, which is a good indicator for energy intake, they know how much they've had to eat or drink, they know their intake, so they can better adjust their energy expenditure behaviours," he concluded.