Nanny Plate

Wingers are given to carping and moaning about what they call “the nanny state.”

By this they generally mean governmental rules and regulations and such-like preventing, say, eight-year-olds from working in coal mines, or the erection of a combination crematorium and day-care center.

However, just as it is said that even a blind pig will sometimes stumble upon an acorn, so too do winger ululations about the nanny state sometimes have merit.

Such, I believe, is the case with what I call “the nanny plate.”

This is a $2300 device built in Sweden and let loose upon the land by the UK National Health Service. It is intended to assist obese Britons in controlling their weight; in this instance, through being ordered around by a plate.

The Mandometer monitors the amount of food leaving the plate and tells users who gobble: ‘Please eat more slowly.’

It 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.

A red line on the screen shows the user’s speed of eating, while a blue line shows a healthy rate.

If the user guzzles, the red line angles away from the blue one, warning them to ease off.

If the lines deviate too much, the computer voice tells them to slow down.

The screen also flashes up messages asking: ‘Are you feeling full yet?’ to remind users to think whether they have had enough.

Now, I don’t think we need any of that around here. It is true that obesity is no fun. It is unhealthy, and aesthetically displeasing. However, if I were to be eating, and then found myself lectured by a plate, I would first look at my hand: if I could see through it, I would know I had recently consumed some consciousness-altering substance. But if my hand were opaque, I would feel the need to make like Mediterranean peoples, who, it is said, sometimes let fly plate, to meet wall, as a form of communication.
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3 Responses to “Nanny Plate”


  1. 1 possum November 25, 2011 at 3:17 am

    If that lead picture is not the saddest commentary on humanity today then I fear to think what may be. We are killing ourselves with our own consumption of too many calories and the expending of too little on exercise. The Big Mac syndrome was never better defined than by the people who need more than one chair to hold themselves.

    Just a day or so ago was a story in the news about an airline passenger displaced by a too large person. What ever are we coming to? Will the gain never cease? Or will the food supply one day fail to sustain the continued growth of our population?

  2. 2 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) December 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Wait, this thing was made in Switzerland? Isn’t that one of those places where everyone is blond and svelt? That would make me think their plates wouldn’t be very sympathetic. Well, that and that fact that they are plates.

    I am also quite sure there are better weight loss solutions to be found for a lot less money.

    • 3 bluenred December 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      I believe that Switzerland is not known as a place heavy with people of excess poundage. But that does not mean the Swiss are not willing to make money off such people.


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