Scientists develop new weight loss device that shuts jaws partially to fight obesitytext_fields
Researchers have created a weight loss device that uses magnets to force an individual's jaws and make it almost impossible to open the mouth wide to eat solids.
Although some have likened it to medieval torture tools, the team of experts from the University of Otago in New Zealand and Leeds in the UK said they created the device to help fight global obesity.
The 'first of its kind' innovation, called DentalSlim Diet Control, consists of installing magnets used in dentistry and locking screws at the patient's upper and lower molars, allowing the jaws to open for only two millimetres. This forces the person concerned to follow a low-calorie fluid-limited diet without hindering breathing or speech.
Lead researcher Paul Brunton of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Otago said that the invention is an alternative to surgical interventions and that there are no negative consequences for this device as it is temporary, economical and attractive.
"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," Brunton told The Guardian.
In a study published in the British Dental Journal this month, researchers said seven women lost an average of 6.36 kgs during a two-week trial with the Dental Slim Diet Control. Though users reported some initial discomfort, they generally found the device acceptable, the study concluded.
Netizens have criticised the invention, with some accusing researchers of putting a negative stigma on obese people, questioning the morality of such a device.