Poster presentation: user experience study on using an augmented fork to reduce eating speed

Eating rate is a basic determinant of appetite regulation, as people who eat more slowly feel sated earlier and eat less. Unfortunately without assistance, eating rate is difficult to modify due to its highly automatic nature.

The 10SFork, designed by Slow Control, Paris, provides feedback to raise awareness of eating rate in order to help people eat more slowly. It records behaviour and provides real-time haptic feedback on individual eating rates.

11 participants (3 male, 8 female, M age = 21.2) used the fork both in a laboratory setting and at home. All participants indicated having high eating rates. We interviewed them on perceived efficacy, acceptability, comfort, accuracy, motivation, and sustained use of the fork.

Participants feel the 10SFork is an acceptable tool to decelerate eating rate. Participants were more aware of their eating rate, but this did not always lead to behaviour change.

The fork is generally seen as comfortable and sufficiently accurate. The vibrotactile feedback worked as expected, but the visual feedback largely remained unnoticed Sustained motivation to use the fork was limited because participants did not see themselves as the product’s target group.

We presented this poster at the 2015 meeting of the British Feeding and Drinking Group, Wageningen University, 9 April 2015 (abstract here, doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.112), and at the conference Supporting Health by Technology at the University of Twente, 22 May 2015 (best poster award).

This research is part of our research project Take it Slow.