'Diet dust' advocated as cure for desire to overeat

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It's the ultimate slimming device. "Diet dust" could soon transform the lives of millions of fat people struggling with their weight.

It's the ultimate slimming device. "Diet dust" could soon transform the lives of millions of fat people struggling with their weight.

Scientists say that the dust, which would be sprinkled over food in the same way as salt and pepper, could alter people's moods to make them feel better and eat less.

The new generation of slimming foods, proposed in a forthcoming report by Foresight, the Government-backed futures forecaster, would work withoutmaking people feel they are dieting.

"Diet dust could become a reality if we can safely apply technology to the food chain. It would be an equivalent of aromatherapy, calming appetite instead of senses," said Professor Janet Bainbridge, of the Food Chain and Crops for Industry Panel, of Foresight, and director of the School of Science at the University of Teesside.

In Britain, one person in five is classed as obese.

"Obesity causes personal misery and is becoming an increasing burden on health services in the UK," Prof Bainbridge said. "Slimming aids may be effective in the short term but for a lot of people they are boring and their weight yo-yos as a result."

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