It’s not braces, it’s the latest in weight loss device.
University of Otago
The inventions of food culture are, but one of the newest weight loss methods to go viral is taking the cake. Researchers in the UK and the University of Otago – a New Zealand institution that prides itself on “relevant, innovative and connected” research – developed a device that blocks users’ jaws and prevents them from eating anything other than liquid food to take.
The DentalSlim Diet Control uses magnets and “custom-made locking bolts” to clamp the wearer’s jaw down to around 2 millimeters, which is enough space to breathe and speak, according to a press release from the University of Otago. It must be used by a dentist and also has an emergency release function. You know, just in case.
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The device was designed to “help fight the global obesity pandemic,” the university said. University of Otago Health Sciences Pro-Vice Chancellor Paul Brunton called it “an effective, safe, and affordable tool for people battling obesity.” Researchers say the device could be especially helpful for people who need to lose weight before surgery or who have diabetes.
DentalSlim was also offered as an alternative to weight loss surgery such as bariatric surgery and maxillofacial surgeries of the 1970s and 80s, which brought suffocation risks, mental health issues, and other health issues.
Chelsea Kronengold, assistant communications director for the National Eating Disorders Association, told the Washington Post that DentalSlim was “barbaric.” Christy Harrison, a registered nutritionist, told lifestyle website Shape that “there is no reason to put people of any size on such a restrictive diet,” and that the device is a “recipe for disrupted eating, weight cycles and weight stigma.” .
“I think researchers and practitioners continue to promote diets and restrictive practices like this because diet culture has convinced them that weight loss by whatever means is preferable to higher weight,” Harrison told Shape.
Research on the weight loss device was published in the British Dental Journal in a study of seven people. Within two weeks, the participants lost weight, but reported problems pronouncing some words and “only occasionally” felt embarrassed. They also stated that “life in general was less satisfying,” but the researchers concluded that those who completed the study were “more motivated to continue their weight loss journey”.
In the study, the authors say that the main obstacle to successful weight loss with nutritional advice and restriction is “poor patient adherence”. DentalSlim solves this problem as people are forced to hold on while their jaws are screwed shut.
It is well established in nutritional research that people who go on a diet tend to lose weight in the short term and gain it back over time. Even in the DentalSlim study, where participants lost weight, they regained weight every two weeks after removing the device. Nor does the study go into how a closed mouth would affect increased oxygen demands for exercise, which is a proven method of controlling weight loss.
In addition to its oppressive nature, this new weight loss device might be one to be given away as it is theof factors that contribute to weight loss and weight gain. The DentalSlim simply takes it with you .
When trying to lose weight, making sustainable, long-term changes in your exercise and eating habits remains the best route.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always contact a doctor or other qualified health care provider with questions about a medical condition or health goals.