How Far Are You Willing to Go to Lose Weight? Controversial New Jaw Lockdown Method Takes It to Next Level

Tired of all of the fad diets? Unsure about weight-loss surgery? Now a university research team in the United Kingdom has come up with an alternate way to lose weight. 

Just have a dentist lock your jaw shut, forcing you to go on a liquid diet. 

WJLA-TV reports researchers have developed an appliance that locks the user’s mouth shut, only allowing them to open their mouth about 1/16th of an inch (two millimeters). A recipient of the treatment would still be able to talk and breathe through their mouth. They are also capable of only drinking for nourishment. 

The apparatus dubbed “DentalSlim Diet Control” is installed on the upper and lower back teeth by a dentist. The patient has a tool to open the appliance in case of an emergency.  

The mechanism uses magnets with “unique custom-manufactured locking bolts.” It was developed by medical professionals from the University of Otago in New Zealand and scientists from Leeds in the United Kingdom, according to The Guardian

The university tweeted it’s 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.”

The British Dental Journal published its findings of a trial study of the appliance which was installed in the mouths of seven New Zealand women over a two-week period.  The journal said the women as a group lost an average of 14 pounds in two weeks. 

Researchers concluded, “the participants tolerated the device for a two-week period with satisfactory weight loss and were further motivated to continue their weight loss journey.”

However, The Guardian reported the study did not go without problems. Participants complained that the device was hard to use, causing discomfort while trying to talk. They also said they felt tense and that “life, in general, was less satisfying.”

One participant did not follow the rules and instead consumed foods they were not supposed to, such as chocolate, by melting them, according to the newspaper.

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University of Otago Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor Paul Brunton noted the main barrier for people for successful weight loss is “compliance.”

“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,” Brunton said. “It is a non-invasive, reversible, economical, and attractive alternative to surgical procedures. The fact is, there are no adverse consequences with this device.”

But when the University of Otago posted news about the new appliance to Twitter on Sunday, its tweet went viral with many comparing it to a torture device. 

One user posted, “You don’t need this torture device to go on a liquid diet. I did Slimfast (sic) in the 90s and lost a tonne (sic) of weight quickly. I also started vomiting, taking laxatives, and exercising obsessively. I put all the weight back on when I gave that up, but the damage it did is still with me.”

The university publicly responded to the tweets, writing: “To clarify, the intention of the device is not intended as a quick or long-term weight-loss tool; rather it is aimed to assist people who need to undergo surgery and who cannot have the surgery until they have lost weight.”

“After two or three weeks they can have the magnets disengaged and the device removed. They could then have a period with a less restricted diet and then go back into treatment. This would allow for a phased approach to weight loss supported by advice from a dietician,” the school continued. 

As CBN News reported last month, more than 42% of US adults are now obese, making it the first time in history the national rate has passed the 40% mark, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which points out the steep and rapid rise of this serious health condition. In 1999, the obesity rate was a much lower 30%.

Some researchers point to one of the main culprits of obesity – the sugar that is prevalent in America’s diet. 

Most Americans consume three times the recommended amount of sugar, perhaps without even realizing it. That adds up to approximately 60 pounds of sugar a year for adults – and believe it or not, many children consume more sugar than grown-ups at an estimated 65 pounds a year. 

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