Did you ever think that magnets would keep you from getting overweight? Medical professionals have now developed a magnetic weight-loss tool that locks your jaw and restricts it from opening too wide.
According to World Health Organization, obesity has already become an epidemic all around the world and at least 2.8 million people die every year due to this. Along with high-income countries, middle and low-income countries are also affected by Obesity. Researchers are working day and night to find a solution to this problem.
Dental Slim Diet Control
In a similar effort to curb obesity, scientists from the UK and Medical professionals from the University of Otago in New Zealand developed a weight-loss device to help fight the Global Obesity Epidemic. According to the researchers, it’s the world’s first weight loss device and it’s named “Dental Slim Diet Control”. The intra-oral device can only be fitted by a dental professional to the lower and upper back of the teeth. The device is fitted with magnets with unique locking bolts, which doesn’t allow the wearer to open their mouths more than 2mm. The device aims to restrict the wearer to a liquid diet. According to medical professionals, it doesn’t restrict speech and breathing.
Clinical Trials Of The Device
Research published in British Dental Journal on 25, June 2021, states that “The aim of this clinical study was to investigate the acceptability and tolerability of an intraoral device, designed to facilitate weight loss.” Researchers recruited seven obese and healthy participants for this clinical trial. All of them were of European ethnicity and were women. The mean age of the patients was 36.71 years as per the research paper. The Dental Slim Diet Control device was then fitted onto the first molars of all the participants. For the next two weeks, participants were given a commercially available liquid diet. At regular intervals and after the device removal at two weeks, the tolerability and comfort of the device were assessed through a “Quality of life” questionnaire. There was no bleeding reported by the participants. The device was incorporated with a safety feature, which allowed the instant disengagement of the device in the case of an emergency like choking or a panic attack.
Out of the initial seven participants, only six participants completed the study as one of them left after eight days for unknown reasons unrelated to the study. While another participant who completed the study, couldn’t attend the review appointment as she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and had to be admitted to the hospital on an urgent basis. According to the report, no participant had to use the emergency device during the trials. The participants lost around 6.36 kilograms of weight and were further motivated to use the device and continue their weight loss journey.
The study stated that “The participants linked the size of the device to poor aesthetics rather than discomfort, except one participant who indicated that the device caused friction to her cheek. Two participants indicated that wearing the device affected their work and social life as the device was visible.”
Backlash Faced by The Device
The device has received mass criticism from various places; over the internet from medical and health experts. Some people even called it a “Torture Device” linking it to early Barbarism. While, another user said, “And this, kids, is why ethics needs to be taught in science. Good God, I thought medicine was past these kinds of torture devices.”
“Control of weight and obesity is good for cardiac patients, but only if the weight loss is achieved by working out, walking, exercise, and a healthy diet which is controlled. A liquid diet is not a normal diet, you lose out on many enzymes that are required for metabolism. Some amount of fat, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates are required,” said Dr. Vanita Arora, the Director and Head of Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab and Arrhythmia Services at Max Hospital, Delhi. A mental health expert from Pune said, “It can accelerate stigma and discrimination for people suffering from eating disorders related to mental health, this may hamper the acceptance of obese people by society too,” he said.
After getting exposed to all this negative feedback, the university issued a clarification saying that the device is developed to assist people who have to lose weight to undergo a fat loss surgery and it’s not intended to be used as a long-term or quick weight loss solution.
However, this statement did not match the earlier statement released by the University, during the introduction of this new fat loss device. No matter how safe the researchers deem it to be, but according to people, health experts, and critics, it’s a big no-no.