Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that at least a third of the United States’ adult population, or 78.6 million people, are obese. A series of papers published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking looks into how the development of virtual reality can be used in the fight against obesity. The papers examined how the new technology could be used to understand how people see their bodies, change their personal perception of their bodies and even alter how they see exercise.

A study conducted by Dr. Federica Pallavicini and her colleagues stated that obesity is the result of several physiological, psychological and emotional factors. One factor that affects the severity of obesity involves binge eating. As part of the study, the subjects were exposed to real food and food presented using augmented reality technology or AR. The researchers wanted to see if AR food would elicit the same response in the subjects as when they are exposed to real food.

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