A pair of computerised goggles that fool people into thinking their snack is tastier or bigger than it actually is could help overweight people eat less.
University of Tokyo researchers developed the goggles, which are designed to manipulate the senses.
In one example, the device was connected to a computer that re-sized what the person could see. So when they were holding a cookie and looked through the goggles, their hand appeared to stay the same but the cookie was made to look 50 per cent bigger. As a result, the volunteers consumed 10 per cent less.
But when the cookie was made to appear two thirds of its real size, the volunteers ate 15 per cent more.
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In another trial, the researchers gave the participants a plain cookie, then used scents and visual clues to trick them into thinking the snack was chocolate or strawberry flavoured.
The participants got to choose their favourite flavour and 80 per cent of subjects were fooled.
Professor Michitaka Hirose, who led the study, is looking at how computers can impact our brains.
"How to fool various senses or how to build on them using computers is very important in the study of virtual reality," he said.
Now the team plan to see if the goggles can help people wanting to lose weight.
Is looking completely ridiculous really a fair price to pay to lose a few kilos? Would you wear these goggles? Have your say below.