Don’t think I’ll be forking out for a talking plate

Doctors have a new weapon in their arsenal in the battle to beat obesity – a talking plate that tells people not to eat too quickly.

The plate costs an incredibly reasonable �1,500 and comes in two parts: a scale placed under the plate and a small computer screen showing a graphic of the food that gradually disappears as the user eats.

Like a really primitive computer game from the 1980s, a red line on the screen shows the user's speed of eating, while a blue line shows the healthy rate.

If the lines move too far apart, the computer voice barks a command to slow down.

It's one thing to say that people who are obese are fat and unhealthy, it's quite another to think that they're stupid enough to eat a meal off a plate that requires a computer screen, a pair of scales and a bossy robot that thinks 'treating yourself' involves having another carrot stick.

For a start, how are you going to fit all that kit on your lap? If you're obese enough to warrant a really expensive plate, it's unlikely you'll have seen your lap for the past few decades.

Secondly, the device is going to be given to families, presumably meaning that everyone has to eat – slowly – one by one.

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Getting everyone's breakfast down before the school bell rings will mean getting up at 2am.

Can the plates be taken to McDonald's? How do they cope with candyfloss, which weighs as much as an ant fart but is the calorific equivalent of a barrel of lard? I have so many questions about the 'Mandometer' plate that I'm going to have to take a week off in order to research them.

I shall return with my verdict, which I can already tell you will be that this plate is an absolute crock(ery) of poo.

See you on December 12. Wear your comedy antlers.

•This article was original published on November 28, 2011