A New Contraption Clamps Your Teeth Together To Promote Weight Loss, And WTAF

by Colleen Dilthey Thomas
Originally Published: 

Diet culture is the worst. We are bombarded by images of filtered and photoshopped bodies and flawless faces. Our social media channels are filled with before and after pictures and claims that a diet, or shake, or magic pill can transform you in weeks. We are being brainwashed into believing that thin is better and healthier, and that if you carry any fat, then you are less than. We cannot (and should not) reach the unattainable, and yet we continue to chase the skinny brass ring, sometimes going to extreme measures in order to get there. Enter New Zealand’s revolutionary Dental Slim Diet Control, the world’s first weight loss device.

What is a weight loss device, you may ask? First, let me tell you that it has produced excellent results in a very short period of time. The pounds are literally melting off. For real, this is so incredible; it will revolutionize the way that we lose weight. I mean, right now it is only being used for the “morbidly obese,” but surely us chubby chicks will get our shot at it too.

OK, OK, enough build up. You are ready for me to raise the curtain, aren’t you? The secret is … magnets! That’s right, magnets that keep your teeth stuck together and create a two-millimeter gap so that you can’t feed your face. What in the actual fuck?

You read that right: people are clamping their mouths shut with magnets so that they can only ingest liquids. And there are people, a lot of them at an actual university, that think that this is a good idea.

“It’s functionally quite comfortable so you don’t feel like your jaws in a steel trap,” said University of Otago Health Sciences Professor, Paul Brunton.

Well, Paul, we have questions. First, there has to be a healthier alternative than clamping your mouth shut for weeks at a time. How about good ole healthy eating and exercise? Wouldn’t that be a better way to help people who want to lose weight than magnetizing their teeth together? And what are the success rates long-term? How do we even define success here—just making our body smaller? I mean, I know that if you shut my mouth for two weeks, the first thing I am going to do when you open it is eat something. We know that diets fail. Why in the hell do you think that this is a good idea, Paul? Because it’s not. It’s just not!

Scary Mommy wanted to hear from an actual expert on obesity and proper treatment, so we reached out to Dr. Vadim Sherman, FRCSC, FACS and Medical Director, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Center Houston Methodist Hospital. He gave us a little insight on this revolutionary contraption and let’s just say, he’s not for it.

“This type of diet falls into the ‘restrictive’ category. It functions literally by restricting your intake, without affecting hunger. If we’ve learned anything from the history of weight loss procedures, it’s that procedures that don’t have an effect on hunger and satiety (fullness/satisfaction after a meal) generally fail in the long term,” he said.

He explained that diets only work for the short term. If you want to have long-term success, there need to be lifestyle changes that are permanent. That means, diet, exercise, and healthy habits — not clamping down your jaw for two weeks. Notice, he didn’t say anything about getting skinny or having the perfect body or anything of the sort?

He wants his patients to establish healthy habits for life. That is the key. It isn’t about focusing on thinness. And guess what? All bodies are beautiful. It is our job to try to keep them as healthy as we can (health is not always within our control), not skinny. How about instead of resorting to drastic measures, we just change the societal narrative about bodies altogether? Now that makes sense.

So yeah, back to the whole putting magnets in your mouth to keep it shut? That’s a hard pass from us. No one should ever be made to feel so much shame about their body that they would go to such extremes. It isn’t healthy, and it isn’t going to work. Period. Past incarnations of this technique have proven that.

“The problem with this updated version of jaw wiring is that there is no effect on hunger,” Sherman tells us. “When you’re hungry, you will find a way to get some food in. In this case, that would be via a liquid diet. And unfortunately, the easiest things to drink quickly to quell hunger would be liquids with lots of sugars and/or fats, which could paradoxically lead to a weight gain.” So we know that magnets aren’t going to work, and that fads like this could actually lead to additional weight gain.

But what do we do about diet culture bringing us down? Head on over to Pinterest. They’ve got your back. They are making huge changes in the way their platform reaches its readers. If you’re looking for outrageous weight loss claims, amazing shakes, and results-driven miracle diets, you aren’t going to find them there any more. Gone are the days of weight loss testimonials and BMI charts. You won’t see any more ads for magic patches or creams — it’s all banned. We say, “Amen!” We don’t need any more places to encourage self-hate. Give us the dream boards and places to pin our favorite home decor pics. No more before and afters!

“This stance makes Pinterest the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads. It’s an expansion of our ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims,” Pinterest said in a blog post. “We encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all.”

We need more of this and less making us feel bad about our bodies. There is no need to agonize over your clothing size. What matters is the heart and soul of the person in those clothes. Are you happy? Are you kind? Are you making your mark on the world? That is what is important. Remember it and teach your kids. We need our children to be tolerant and respectful of a lot of things, and knowing that everyone’s body is unique and beautiful is one of them.

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