Researchers produce new dental device to tackle obesity

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A team of researchers has produced a new dental device, which is designed to tackle the world’s growing obesity crisis.

The DentalSlim Diet Control is an oral device, which utilises magnetic components to lock the mouth shut, preventing the user from eating. The appliance, which was developed at the University of Otago in New Zealand, allows a small gap of around 2mm for breathing, speaking and drinking.

The aim is to discourage people who need to lose a significant amount of weight from overeating and enable them to adapt to a different diet without struggling to resist temptation.

Professor Paul Brunton, lead researcher, explained that the device is designed for those who are clinically obese and people who have struggled to lose weight in the past as a result of finding it difficult to comply with diets or healthy eating plans. Trials showed that the average participant lost 6.4 kg in 2 weeks.

This equates to around a stone in weight. Researchers also found that those who took part in the trial in Dunedin were motivated to carry on trying to lose weight.

Prof Brunton indicated that the oral device, which would be fitted and removed by a trained dental professional, would help individuals to establish healthier habits, lose weight and adjust to a low-calorie diet for a set period of time. The aim was to “kick-start” the process.

The device has also been hailed as a cost-effective, non-invasive alternative to weight loss surgery, which has become increasingly common in recent years.

Recent statistics revealed that in the UK, a quarter of adults are now obese. The figure is even higher in the US. Around 75% of over 20s are either overweight or obese.

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