Magnetic Device That Locks Jaw Almost Fully Shut Created To Fight Obesity
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A new weight loss device has been developed and it works by ensuring the jaw doesn't open enough to eat solid food.
Scientists based in New Zealand and the UK have created it to help to fight obesity.
The University of Otago in New Zealand joined forces with Jonathan Bodansky and Dr Richard Hall from Leeds to make the new invention.
It tweeted: "Otago and UK researchers have developed a world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic: an intra-oral device that restricts a person to a liquid diet."
The device is called the DentalSlim Diet Control and is fitted to the upper and lower back teeth by a dentist. It then uses magnets to lock.
It means users can only open their mouths by 2mm and then they are given a low calorie liquid diet, which is 'commercially available'.
The British Dental Journal recorded it was fitted in the mouths of seven healthy but obese women for two weeks. After the fortnight of the low-calorie diet was up, they had lost 5.1 percent of their body weight, a mean average of 6.36kg - about a stone.
But the article also says those who took part experienced issues with their speech, occasionally felt 'tense and embarrassed', and struggled to brush their teeth properly with the device.
It also said they felt less 'satisfied' in general with life.
One participant did admit to cheating by having melted chocolate.
Professor Paul Brunton from the university explained: "The main barrier for people for successful weight loss is compliance and this helps them establish new habits, allowing them to comply with a low-calorie diet for a period of time. It really kick-starts the process.
"It is a non-invasive, reversible, economical and attractive alternative to surgical procedures.
"The fact is, there are no adverse consequences with this device."
But social media users have likened it to a 'torture device'
One wrote: "You don't need this torture device to go on a liquid diet. I did Slimfast in the 90s and lost a tonne of weight quickly.
"I also started vomiting, taking laxatives and exercising obsessively. I put all the weight back on when I gave that up, but the damage it did is still with me."
Another joked: "Have you considered wiring the professors fingers together so they can do less of this?"
A third added: "This is torture. Literal, factual, torture."