It may sound like a silly joke, but it’s actually very serious: researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand have developed a magnetic device, called DentalSlim Diet Control, that attaches to your teeth and prevents your mouth from opening more than two millimeters to lose weight. “This restricts the person to a liquid diet, but allows them to speak and breathe normally,” the university’s press release assures.
“DentalSlim is a non-invasive, and easily removable device that is an attractive and affordable alternative to surgery,” praises Professor Paul Brunton, who initiated the project.
“The beauty of it is that once patients are fitted with the device, after two or three weeks they can have the magnets disengaged. They could then have a period with a less restricted diet and then go back into treatment,” he says.
“Most people who want to lose weight have difficulty limiting themselves over the long term,” continues the doctor, who also points out the psychological impact and discrimination that obese people face.
According to a study involving seven people, published in the British Dental Journal, participants lost an average of 6.36 pounds in two weeks thanks to this device.
The idea may have been well-intentioned, but it has been met with a barrage of criticism in the media and on social media, with some describing the device as a true torture device. But the method is no different than bypass or gastric banding, which can cause severe vomiting if you eat normally. Not to mention that gastric bypass surgery is not reversible and the patient will have to live with the negative effects for the rest of their lives.
In truth, there are no real secrets or shortcuts to healthy weight loss, all you need to do is burn more calories than you consume and this could be achieved by eating less and exercising more. However, in the cases of morbid obesity, drastic measures may be needed to save the lives of the patients.