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Help at hand for people watching their weight

01:12

A nifty technique could revolutionise the way we serve up food, which could put an end to over-eating.

It's not always easy assessing how much food we should be eating.

How many times have you thought you were starving and served up a mammoth portion only to realise you are full half way through? Or perhaps you served up a small portion only to find yourself snacking on a chocolate bar 20 minutes later because your dinner simply wasn't big enough?

Now scholars at the University of Sydney have found a cracking new technique which will help you calculate the right portion size wherever you go.

The basic principle uses "finger widths as a 'ruler' to gauge the dimensions of foods and glasses of liquids."

Easy right?

In a video released by the University, Ms Gibson uses the simple method on a piece of lasagne, a glass of wine and a slice of watermelon.

When measuring a lasagne she used the following steps:

1. Measure the width with your fingers eg. 7 fingers

2. Measure the length using your fingers eg. 5 fingers

3. Measure the height using your fingers eg. 4 fingers

4. Use the formula Volume = 1/2 x width [7] x length [5] x height [4] to calculate the result* in grams

*An accurate result also needs to take in a person's finger measurements and the food density factor. This will be calculated for you in the future phone app.

Read more: You've Been Chucking Out Good Food For No Reason!

It might sound bizarre but research carried out showed that the 80 percent of foods measured using the finger method were within 25 percent of their true weight!

Speaking of the method Ms Gibson says: " This is an objective way for people to quantify what they are eating when they are out and about... people can measure the dimensions of their food using the width of their fingers.

"Remembering back to primary school maths, we use the geometric volume formulas to estimate the weight of the food."

While she admits the method needs some fine tuning, Miss Gibson thinks she's onto something and it could help tackle the growing issue of obesity.

Read more: Are Breakfast Biccies Really The Healthy Option?

"I think there’s real potential for this tool to be incorporated into electronic platforms such as smartphone applications so that the calculations are automated and estimating food intake on-the-go is more accurate," she explains.

"Better accuracy when estimating food and drink intake will allow dietitians to tailor nutrition advice and recommendations even further, ultimately benefiting clients."

Well, we'll be giving it a go!

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