1. ITV Report

F1 technology helps people beat the bulge

McLaren use Formula One technology to help people beat the bulge. Photo:

Formula One technology is helping people beat the bulge. Engineers from the McLaren motor racing team have taken a system normally used to collect information about cars on the racetrack and have turned it into a way of monitoring the way our body burns through energy.

A pilot scheme has just been launched in Suffolk, with doctors and researchers are hoping it could be a new weapon in the battle against obesity.

Lewis Hamilton.

For racing drivers like Lewis Hamilton keeping fit and healthy is an essential part of the job - and there's a team of people helping him do exactly that.

The McLaren F1 team are using telemetry technology that is normally used to collect data about the racing cars to instead monitor how many calories a person burns throughout the day. It is being tested on 90 patients at Stowhealth GP surgery in Stowmarket.

McLaren F1 use telemetry technology.
Paul Brown (right) trialling the technology at Stowhealth GP surgery in Stowmarket.

You attach a bluetooth electrode to a person's chest and then that measures heartbeat and pulse rate and calculates calorific burn.

This device talks to this device which is kept in a gym bag and this calculates how many calories are burnt in a day and that is sent to the server at McLaren which releases the data via a web portal.

– Paul Brown, Stowhealth
Obesity facts from the Department of Health.

In England most people are overweight or obese. That includes 61.9% of all adults, 28% children are also classed as overweight. Obesity costs the NHS more than £5 billion every year.

It's hoped this study will encourage participants to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Tam Fry, National Obesity Forum.

"This kind of technology will actually show you what you are doing to your body and be hugely helpful to the medical professionals who are trying to treat you."

– Tam Fry, National Obesity Forum