Is this device a new weight loss aid or a method of torture?

Yes, this is for real.

“A world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic.”

Yeah, sure.

According to New Zealand’s University of Otago and UK researchers, DentalSlim Diet Control is an intra-oral device fitted by a dental professional to the upper and lower back teeth. Its magnetic device, with custom-manufactured locking bolts, allows the wearer to open their mouths only about 2mm which limits the individual to consuming only liquids.

But its creators say it allows free speech and doesn’t restrict breathing.

Yes, you can talk and breathe too. Imagine that- talk AND breathe.

You just can’t fuel yourself up with anything you can chew.

Its lead researcher, University of Otago Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Brunton, says the device will be an effective, safe, and affordable tool for people battling obesity.

And they have tested it out. Participants in their trial lost an average of 6.36 kg in two weeks and were motivated to continue with their weight loss journey.

Motivated to continue with their weight loss journey?

With that huge weight loss, it wouldn’t be surprising if the participants felt like human vacuum cleaners once the device was removed. Did the researchers not investigate the extensive body of scientific evidence showing that quick weight loss regimes simply trigger the regaining of weight plus more?

Wait – none of the inventors of this contraption appear to be experts in the area of obesity. The lead researcher is from the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry (along with three other dental faculty members) and while there are two medical doctors involved, neither one appears to be a researcher in the area of weight loss. Dr. Richard Hall, in fact, one of the six researchers, retired as a general practitioner last year.

But Brunton says that the device can be released by the user in the case of an emergency and can be repeatedly fitted and removed. You can do this over and over again.

He says, “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. It really kick-starts the process.”

How does a device which doesn’t allow for chewing (or actually real eating) help someone establish new habits? Not only are their psychological consequences to dropping pounds so quickly, but with this kind of rapid weight loss, it’s not just fat that’s lost. The decrease in lean body mass, or muscle, is known to go hand in hand with a slow down in metabolic rate or calorie burning capacity, making it incredibly easy to regain weight afterwards.

Listing other drawbacks, both physical and psychological, to quick weight loss could fill too many pages to list here.

Yet Brunton states, “The fact is, there are no adverse consequences with this device.”


On top of that, the press release states that while “bariatric surgery plays a major role in the management of morbid obesity, it cannot be relied upon to manage this “global epidemic”.

And this can?

There will be no shortage of less than reputable weight loss schemes and devices but to have one be touted in a university press release is more than disappointing.

It’s actually both quite infuriating and astounding.

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Categories: Nutrition News, Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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