To combat obesity, scientists have developed a device to prevent people from opening their mouths enough to eat. The instrument, developed by doctors from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and scientists from Leeds, can be mounted by dentists and uses magnetic components with locking bolts.
It must be installed on the dental arch and uses magnets to prevent the mouth from opening more than two millimeters. However, the invention has been criticized online, with some people likening it to a medieval torture device, while the University of Otago has instead tweeted that it is the “world’s first” weight loss device “for help fight the global obesity epidemic: an intraoral device that restricts a person to a liquid diet “.
Called DentalSlim Diet Control it was initially tested on seven obese women in New Zealand for two weeks, who were given a low calorie liquid diet. An article published on British Dental Journal reported that the group of women lost an average amount of 6.36 kg, about 5.1% of their body weight. However, participants complained that the device is difficult to use and causes discomfort in speaking, reporting that they feel tense and that “life in general was less satisfying”. One participant didn’t follow the rules and instead consumed foods they shouldn’t have, such as chocolate. The University of Otago specified that the tool is very useful in particular situations: “The intention of the device is not intended as a quick or long-term weight loss tool. Rather, it is meant to assist people who need to undergo surgery and that they can’t until they have lost enough weight. “But the controversy has not subsided and the idea that the tool is closer to medieval torture is what prevails.