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Could a Vibrating Fork Prevent Overeating?

Could a Vibrating Fork Prevent Overeating?

A lot of criticism has been lobbed at people in this country who eat too much, but rarely do we hear concerns for those who eat too quickly. Providing you are not under the age of 12, no one is really going to utter one word of caution if you mindlessly wolf down a salad, sandwich, or even a bowl of pasta…no matter how amazed/disturbed they might be. We live in a culture that routinely celebrates consumption, to the extent that thousands gather every year for grotesque competitive eating events. And because we eat so darn fast, we consume more food and thus, we get fat and unhealthy. Mind you, all of this is coming from someone who admittedly eats too fast, at least on occasion.

[Assume infomercial tone] But what if there was a device that warned you when you were eating too quickly and prevented you from just the sort indulgence that could bring on gastrointestinal stress and even obesity? How much would you pay for such a device?

Before you answer, let me explain. Every year in Las Vegas the Consumer Electronics Show is held, displaying an array of the newest in technology. Usually the focus is on big appealing consumer goods, like TVs and gamer gear, but there are always weird little outlier products like the HAPIfork, by HAPIlabs. The HAPIfork measure how long your meals last, how long you pause between each bite and how many mouthfuls of food you consume. This odd little fork gently shames you with the help of indicator lights when you are eating too fast. It also records information about how long it took you to eat your meal, as well as intervals between fork servings, all of which can be uploaded (via USB or Bluetooth) online and shared with family and friends. Silly? Sure it is, but someone will likely buy one.

What are your thoughts on such a gadget? If we have toothbrushes that now alert us to appropriate brushing time, is such a fork an unreasonable addition to our daily routine?

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


+ add your own
10:49AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

I don't think that being concerned with how other people eat is being's caring for the health of our species. Eh, I guess we could just call this survival of the fittest.

1:07AM PST on Feb 9, 2013

If you have time to worry about other people's eating habits, you need to do something with your life. There's plenty of volunteers needed, take up a hobby, meditate and for God's sake learn to mind your own business

7:32AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

i'd probably put it down and use my fingers.

9:05AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

If it helps anyone, then it's a great idea. Not half as silly as having liposuction or gastric banding.

1:54AM PST on Jan 23, 2013

This is very funny...a vibrating fork??? What will they come up with next,i wonder. I needed some laughter,thanks for sharing.

6:29PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Totally silly. If anyone was stupid enought to buy this fork, they would probably throw it in the trash after a few meals. I eat fast and I'm not overweight. I could actually stand to gain a few pounds.
While some people eat too much because of eating fast, not all fast eaters are overweight. Many people who eat slowly and a moderate amount are still overweight. This fork won't help anyone!

10:23AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

vibrating dentures would be better.. Ha Ha..

7:28PM PST on Jan 17, 2013


5:17PM PST on Jan 16, 2013

I'd like to see in a year how many have sold.

2:59PM PST on Jan 14, 2013


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Oh please, not another diet!!

I am still smiling......

Thanks for posting.


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