- A new weight loss device is intended to limit users to a liquid diet.
- Use magnets to block the jaw and prevent it from opening more than 2 millimeters.
- Critics have compared the device to a horror film and said it promotes fatphobia.
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A group of researchers from New Zealand and the United Kingdom have developed a controversy
device that prevents users from eating solid foods.
Entitled u Dentalslim Diet Control, the device uses magnets to limit the opening of the jaw by more than 2 millimeters, while also allowing users to breathe normally. It includes an emergency release mechanism in case of suffocation or a panic attack.
—University of Otago (@otago) June 28, 2021
It is designed to ensure that patients adhere to a liquid diet, according to principal investigator Paul Brunton of the University of Otago.
“The main barrier for people to successful weight loss is compliance and this helps them establish new habits,” Brunton said in the press release.
The device was tested on seven healthy volunteers with obesity who followed a liquid diet of 1200 calories per day. They lost an average of £ 14 in the two-week study, published on June 25 in the British Dental Journal.
Participants stated that they were satisfied with the results and motivated to continue. They also had trouble speaking, felt uncomfortable, tense and embarrassed, and generally felt that their quality of life was poor, the researchers wrote.
The device’s announcement generated an immediate reaction on Twitter, with critics comparing it to a torture tool from the “Saw” horror film franchise.
—Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) June 28, 2021
Commentators said the concept pathologizes and punishes people in larger bodies.
—Clarkisha Kent (@IWriteAllDay_) June 28, 2021
Earlier, doctors tried to treat obesity by using orthodontic braces to keep the jaw partially closed. Research suggests that patients lost weight but regained it when the wires were removed. The procedure also had a risk of causing suffocation and gum disease.