Can a fork keep you from getting fat? At least one French inventor says, “Yes," provided the handle contains batteries, a motion sensor, and a blinking light to tell you when you’re eating too fast.  It’s called the HAPIfork and here’s how it works:

The fork contains technology that times the exact length of your meal.  It also measures the number of “fork servings” you dish up per minute - and per meal and how much time you take between bites. And if you start shoveling the food in too fast, an accelerometer activates a light and a buzzer, telling you to slow down.

The fork also uses USB technology to upload your stats to a tracking website, or even your Facebook page because studies show that tracking your eating habits can help you lose the weight.

The inventor says that the HAPIfork can train most people to eat at a more leisurely pace in about 3 weeks.  And slowing down your meals is a good idea. A study by the University of Rhode Island found that spacing out your bites - and taking the time to chew each bite thoroughly – cuts calorie consumption by one-third. The fork handle contains rechargeable batteries, and the fork itself can be detached so the tines can be thoroughly washed.

The company will start shipping USB-version HAPIforks in February and a Bluetooth version will be available sometime next year, for about $99. If you’d like to go further – their website is HAPILabs.com.