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?