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New Zealand: World-First Weight-Loss Device Effectively Helps Fight Obesity

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

A new device developed by New Zealand's University of Otago and UK researchers is set to help fight the global obesity epidemic. Participants in a Dunedin-based trial lost an average of 6.36 kg in two weeks and were motivated to continue with their weight loss journey.

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University of Otago and UK researchers have developed a world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic.
University of Otago and UK researchers have developed a world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic.
(Source: University of Otago)

Dunedin/New Zealand — The main barrier for people for successful weight loss is compliance. To overcome this hurdle, scientists have now developed an intra-oral device, helping people establish new habits and to comply with a low-calorie diet for a period of time.

Dentalslim Diet Control is fitted by a dental professional to the upper and lower back teeth. It uses magnetic devices with unique custom-manufactured locking bolts. It allows the wearer to open their mouths only about 2 mm, restricting patients to a liquid diet, but it allows free speech and doesn’t restrict breathing. It can be released by the user in the case of an emergency and can be repeatedly fitted and removed.

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

Recent studies revealed 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight and 650 million are obese and being overweight or obese results in about 2.8 million deaths a year. It is estimated about 57 percent of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030.

“In addition, psychological symptoms may be present, including embarrassment, depression and loss of self-esteem and obese people may suffer eating disorders together with stigmatisation and discrimination,” Professor Brunton says.

The tool could be particularly helpful for those having to lose weight before they can undergo surgery, and for diabetes patients for whom weight loss could initiate remission.

The research team consisted of Professor Brunton, Dr Jithendra Ratnayake, Dr Peter Mei and Dr Arthi Veerasamy, all of the University of Otago, Dr Jonathan Bodansky, of Leeds, and Dr Richard Hall, of RMH Consultancy, Leeds. The paper was published in the British Dental Journal.

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