Jaw-Locking Weight Loss Device Designed to ‘Fight Obesity’ Divides the Internet
A team of medical professionals from New Zealand and the UK have developed a controversial new jaw locking device to help fight obesity. Designed to only allow jaws to open a certain amount it’s meant to stop people from consuming large quantities of food.
Hailing from the University of Otago, Dr Jonathan Bodansky and Dr Richard Hall from Leeds, UK, said they have created a device to tackle the global obesity epidemic.
Otago and UK researchers have developed a world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic: an intra-oral device that restricts a person to a liquid diet. Read more: https://t.co/eLhXwipiqs pic.twitter.com/Of6v3uvVbX
— University of Otago (@otago) June 28, 2021
Called the Dental Slim Diet Control, it’s basically an oral device that limits people to liquid diets. It can be installed by a dentist on the upper or lower teeth at the back of the mouth and locks the jaw by using a magnetic device. This allows users to open their mouths only 2mm thus limiting them to a liquid diet.
However, participants have said it’s uncomfortable and have had difficulty speaking. One participant admitted to having “cheated” by consuming melted chocolate and soft drinks.
The Internet has gone into overdrive with many criticising its existence. Twitter users deemed it inhumane and comparable to medieval torture. One person tweeted: “The first in the world and the last in the world. It is a device of torture, and of course it is shameful to promote it ”. Another person tweeted, “What if a person needs to throw up? Is she going to choke? What if a person has a heart attack and needs to be intubated immediately? It is very unethical. It is pathetic. “
In response to the criticism, the University said: “Compliance is the main obstacle to successful weight loss. This device will allow users to establish new habits and adhere to a low calorie diet for a while. It is a non-invasive, reversible, economical and attractive alternative to surgical procedures. In fact, this device has no negative impact.
To clarify, the intention of the device is not to serve as a rapid or long-term weight loss tool, but rather to help people who are in need of a surgery and who cannot have this procedure until they have lost weight. The beauty of it is that once the patients are fitted with the device, the magnets can be deactivated after two or three weeks. They can then follow a less restrictive diet for a period of time and then resume treatment.“
And for those that are worried if there was ever an emergency, the device comes with a tool for the participant to open if they needed to. The team behind the invention say it could also be useful for people who need to lose weight before having surgery.
What are you views on the device? Cruel or genius?