Weight loss device that clamps jaw shut criticised as "torture"
The device has been slammed as a form of "torture" by critics.
New Zealand researchers have created a weight-loss device that uses magnets to clamp a patient's jaw together as to prevent them from breaking a strict liquid diet.
The procedure involves a dentist fitting magnets and locking bolts to the patient's upper and lower molars, allowing the jaw to open just two millimetres to allow for drinking, speaking, and breathing.
Lead researcher Paul Brunton, from the University of Otago's school of health sciences, said that the invention was a "non-invasive, reversible, economical and attractive alternative to surgical procedures."
The researchers added that the device had been developed for "a world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic".
In the paper published in the British Dental journal this month, they said seven women lost an average of 6.36kg (14lbs) each during the two-week trial, called the DentalSlim Diet Control.
The release was not used by any patient during the two-week trial, although one woman said that she had melted chocolate and fizzy drinks during the trial.
"After 24 hours, the participants indicated that they occasionally felt embarrassed, self-conscious and that life, in general, was less satisfying," the researchers penned in the report.
"Nevertheless, all the participants got accustomed to the device during the treatment period and were able to work effectively in their usual employment."
The device has created a strong response on social media with many people likening the contraption to jaw wiring of the '80s and calling it a form of "torture".
The researchers note in their paper that the trial was approved by an ethics committee and carried out in accordance with international guidelines.