Revolutionary diet technology

Unhealthily high levels of eating is a serious problem in today's world - and wherever there's a serious problem to be found there's always a solution someone's willing to sell you. Please prepare yourself for the introduction to society of what is claimed to be "America's FIRST Diet Fork" - the inspirationally named Diet Fork.

It might bear an uncanny resemblance to every plastic fork you've ever seen sold for 5p in ASDA over the past 20 years - but please leave your scepticism at the door; it is apparently "the most revolutionary breakthrough in dieting!"

It's hard to quite believe it's true, but it was advertised in serious newspapers over the weekend no less. So how does it "work"? Don't worry, you won't be needing a degree in nutrition to understand the science behind it. Here goes with the "key factors":

  • Shorter and dulled teeth inhibiting user from grasping larger pieces of food at any one time
  • Smaller triangular shaped surface area allowing dieter to hold less food than many other forks
  • Uncomfortable grip compelling user to put fork down between bites, slowing the user's eating speed

So, ermmm, in summary, it works by being smaller than a normal fork, less easy to pick stuff up with and it hurts your hand when you use it. So it is a normal plastic fork after all, but with a special name. Quick, buy buy buy.

The credibility of the Diet Fork is not in any way enhanced by its cheesy-as website. In fact, the more the Poorhouse looks at it, the more it appears to be a spoof. Why on earth would a serious dieting company think that photographs such as that to the right are going to inspire weight-loss? Oh actually, it doesn't matter because with the Diet Fork you'll be so annoyed by the time you get to having your second mouthful you won't even bother. Sheer genius.

It should be noted that the "contact us" page does include the following disclaimer.

Medical Advice. The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease and we make no medical claims for any products available through this website…The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease...dietfork.com MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES SOLD, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THOSE OF TITLE, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE...

...only you probably won't be able to read it in the tiny, unclear font they have chosen to use. You will find it just above the hilariously generic stock photos of 3 couples - one of which is a mostly naked women stroking a man's breast - if you have good enough eyesight.

The inventor is apparently the same guy who invented the Flavor Spray Diet. Upsettingly, this is not along the same lines as a fork that makes it difficult to eat, the obvious thing here being to spray your food with something that tastes like rotting brain-matter that's been lying in untreated sewage for 4 months and hence lessen the taste-incentive to eat. Rather it's cans of zero-fat flavoured things to be used as substitutes for fatty bits of normal meals - e.g. Parmesan Cheese Spray, Hot and Sour Spray, Banana Split Spray and the rather vague Birthday Cake Spray.

A brief review of the evidence shows that there have however been more ridiculous solutions to over-eating, even if they are not so widely available. To steal a link from Ari's comment on diet blog, please see patent number 4344424.

Despite the fact that it is written like something out of the 1950s when it clearly wasn't ("Typical of such [over-eating] groups of individuals is the housewife who must frequently cook meals during the day which generally include the preparation of such fattening foods such as pies, pastries and the like. During the preparation of such meals not only is there the temptation to nibble on the food...") it goes on to list 5 primary objectives of the invention. Unfortunately all of them are actually the same objective - preventing the consumption of food by an individual. Still, you can't argue that the device could be anything other than a success in that respect.

Ladies and gentleman, please give a round of applause for Barmby's "ANTI-EATING FACE MASK". Yes, that is its official name, and a damn good description of it. Anyone with a particular phobia of Silence of the Lambs may like to look away now.

(thanks to the Poorhouse-dad for the heads up on the Diet Fork)


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