Leeds researchers involved in weight-loss tool that locks mouth almost shut

A new weight-loss tool that uses magnets to stop people opening their mouths wide enough to eat solid food has been developed by US and Leeds researchers.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 2:47 pm
The 'DentalSlim Diet Control' uses magnets to ensure that the user can only open their mouths to about 2 millimetres. Photo: The University of Otago
The 'DentalSlim Diet Control' uses magnets to ensure that the user can only open their mouths to about 2 millimetres. Photo: The University of Otago

The 'DentalSlim Diet Control' is an oral device that is fixed by a dentist to the upper and lower back teeth.

It uses magnets to ensure that the user can only open their mouths to about 2 millimetres.

This means the person would be restricted to a liquid diet.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was developed by the University of Otago and and Dr Richard Hall, of RMH Consultancy in Leeds and Dr Jonathan Bodansky, a consultant consultant physician at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and at the Spire Hospital.

Dr. Bodansky is also an Associate Professor at the University of Leeds, according to his website.

Lead researcher, University of Otago Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Brunton said the device will be an "effective, safe, and affordable tool for people battling obesity.".

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. It is fitted by a dentist, can be released by the user in the case of an emergency and can be repeatedly fitted and removed.

“The main barrier for people for successful weight loss is compliance and 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,” Professor Brunton says.

“It is a non-invasive, reversible, economical and attractive alternative to surgical procedures.

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

HHowever, critics online have likened it to a medieval torture device.

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

For those impacted by this story, eating disorder chartity Beat offers a helpline open 9am to 8pm during the week and 4pm to 8pm on weekends.

The Beat helpline is 0808 801 0677 or they can be contacted via email [email protected]