In Our Diet Obsessed World, Is This New Device Taking Things Too Far?
As long as human beings have been conscious of their weight, there have been some pretty extreme and unconventional methods of dieting.
Back in the 1950s it was the tapeworm diet, more recently it's been things injecting pregnancy hormones, sucking smoothies from cotton balls, and even having surgical staples placed on pressure points in your ear to curb your appetite.
The latest bizarre device to supposedly help promote weight loss operates on a simple principle - it's hard to stuff your 'pie hole' when you can't get it open.
New Atlas is reporting that researchers in Britain and at the University of Otago in New Zealand researchers have introduced an item they call Dental Slim. It is attached by a dentist to the upper first molars in a patient's mouth and then connects to a powerful magnet mounted on the lower molars, which, along with some locking bolts, prevents the patient from opening their mouth more than two millimeters (which is 5/64ths on an inch).
The device is an offshoot of a procedure from the 1980s which saw doctors wiring patient's jaws shut. The Dental Slim addresses one of the big concerns from that method - the risk of choking if the patients vomited. To keep that from happening, DentalSlim users get an emergency unlocking tool to carry with them at all times.
That leaves you one dining option for the duration of treatment - liquid.
So does it work?
Well in a very small study published in the British Dental Journal, seven healthy, obese participants wore the devices for two weeks and lost an average of 14 pounds each.