Published: Monday 30 November 1998

A calculator-like device that helps you keep slim has been patented by Seiko Epson of Tokyo, Japan. The pocket instrument connects to sensors that monitor your pulse and body temperature continuously. But it can also detect motion to see if you are moving around or not. You enter your sex, age, height and body weight, and what food you are eating. Using data from the sensors, the device then works out whether you are relaxing or exercising, and delivers an instant guide to how much food energy you need for your level of activity. The calculator will then warn users who it deems are too lazy or tell them if they are simply eating too much.

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