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Japanese mobile provider develops exercise breathalyzer device to test for fat burning

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Posted August 13, 2013
Credit: Yuki Yamada

Credit: Yuki Yamada

NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile-phone provider has developed a new smart phone peripheral that lets a person know if they are burning fat by analyzing their breath. To emphasize that the device is not a gimmick, researchers with the company conducted experiments testing how well the device worked compared with high-grade lab equipment. They have had the results of their study published in Journal of Breath Research.

 

Research has shown that one of the difficulties people encounter when attempting to lose weight is the lack of real-time feedback. Weight loss effort results don’t typically show up for days, or even weeks, leaving those dieting and/or exercising in limbo, wondering if what they are doing is the right approach. To address such concerns, researchers with Docomo have been studying ways to provide dieters with more immediate feedback. One way they’ve found, is by measuring the amount of acetone in the breath.

When fat is burned in the body, one of the end products is acetone—it winds up in the blood which makes its way to the lungs and is expelled when a person breathes out. Up till now, measuring how much acetone is in the breath required expensive and bulky lab equipment. Docomo appears to have solved both problems—its device is roughly the same size as a smartphone. A user places a tube in the mouth and blows—the device measures the amount of acetone in the breath and displays a Fat Burning graphic on a smartphone screen along with an encouraging message.

Read more at: Phys.org

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