Smart fork

UNABLE to shift the flab of Christmas past? Unwilling to starve or sweat your way to perfection? Then perhaps what you need is a really clever fork.

At least that is the idea behind the HAPI fork. It claims to help people to control their weight by monitoring the speed with witch food is shovelled from plate to mouth. When you are eating to quickly the fork will buzz to tell you to slow down. The device is based on the premise that most people feel full after 20 minutes of eating so reducing the amount of food eaten in that time will help them to lose weight.

HAPIlabs, the French company behind the product, suggests that the ideal amount of time between bites is 10-15 seconds, although this changes according age, gender and demographics.

The HAPIfork gets smarter over time, tracking a person’s rate of eating across several meals and slowly increasing the seconds before it buzzes as you learn to eat more slowly. After a meal, it send the information to your mobile phone.

The fork worked as advertised. When boomeranging back quickly to the table for a second mouthful, it gently vibrates in your hand just as you complete the loop from plate to mouth. Given the food on offer, I was grateful for the intervention. But the large handle made it feel more like eating with a child’s plastic fork than an empowering weight-loss experience. It is probably not the sort of thing you would want dinner guests seeing. Or hearing.

Some may argue that the main flaw is that the worst-offending foods are rarely eaten with cutlery. Surely it is “intelligent fingers”, not intelligent cutlery, that must refrain from picking up pizzas and burgers.

Yes, such is the Western world’s inability to control its waistline that we are now having to invent “intelligent cutlery” to do it for us. Next year, expect a spoon that gives life coaching and a whisk that helps you look good naked