Europe’s so-called ‘flab lab’ is a technologically advanced, hi-tech unit used to research obesity. It’s official name is a ‘whole body calorimeter’, and scientists at the University of Warwick and University Hospital Coventry hope it will give them an insight into how exercise, medicines, food and sleep affect weight.
One of the group’s first experiments will investigate the speed of eating and how it can change appetite or affect the speed our bodies burn energy.
About a dozen participants will spend 3 days (1 participant per day) in the ‘flab-lab’, and air-locked chamber that records, very precisely, how quickly energy is burned.
On day one, participants will be asked to eat a meal in 10 minutes. On day 2, they will be asked to eat a meal in 20 minutes. On day 3, they will be asked to take 40 minutes to eat their food. The speed of consumption is controlled by scientists who will cut the food into small pieces, which is then given to the participants at 5 minute intervals.
To test how the speed of consumption affects the participant’s hunger levels, they will be offered an all-you-can-eat food selection at the end of every day.
Previous research from Japan suggests that eating slowly can help suppress the appetite and lower the risk of developing diabetes.
The participants involved in the study spend the days in the lab reading and browsing the web to prevent boredom, but Professor Sudhesh Kumar, who runs the lab, hopes the experiment will make a difference to patients around the world.
One participant said: “If it does something to help people who’ve struggled to lose weight, like me, then it can only be a good thing”.
If you would like to change your lifestyle or eating habits, you may wish to consult a life coach. To find out more about how a life coach could help with weight loss, please visit our Health factsheet.
View the original BBC article here.