Well Being

The FDA’s Decision To Approve Obesity Shock Collar Is, Well, Shocking

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Obesity Shock Collar Recommended for Approval by FDASince self-control clearly isn't a valid weight-loss method (especially whenever a bag of chips is within a 3-mile radius), the FDA wants to treat us like animals by introducing the first-ever obesity shock collar.

If you're thinking, “Shock collars? Like, a dog shock collar?” then you'd be exactly right!

The newest “miracle cure” for obesity is apparently electricity—at least, according to a new device that has just been recommended for approval by the FDA's nine-member Gastroenterology and Urology Device Panel.

And it appears that the same method of electrically stimulating a dog's neck to make it stop barking works in humans, too. Except the Maestro Rechargeable System is designed to curb someone's appetite by electrically stimulating stomach nerves, instead of getting us to stop talking (but there's an invention worth looking into).

While not an actual obesity shock collar, this gadget doesn't send harmful shocks to your tummy when you pick up a slice of cake or think about ice cream. Instead, it works as a nerve-blocker to curb hanger pangs, making you feel full. Aimed at obese adults with a BMI (your body mass index) over 40, the Maestro Rechargeable System is marketed as an alternative to weight-loss surgery.

Want the technical details? You should, if you ever plan on using it:

The Maestro consists of a “pulse generator” surgically implanted under the skin of the chest wall. This delivers high-frequency electrical pulses to leads laid along two trunks of the vagus nerve, which helps control the function of many organs in the abdomen.

You should also want to know if it's safe.

Well, the advisory panel seems to think so. But at the same time, it's a gadget that sends electrical shocks while surgically implanted inside your chest. So think about that before getting on the operating table.

As for the product actually working, the final vote about its functionality between FDA board members resulted in a 5-4 outcome, with the “no's” outweighing the “yes's.” So I—along with five other board members—am skeptical about it actually working.

It's not the craziest weight loss method, that's for sure. From diet pills, to juice cleansers, to fat-melting machines and even the ShakeWeight, there are tons of weird, wild and out-of-this-world dieting trends that I want no part of whatsoever.

But if this is going to come out onto the market (and chances are, it will), perhaps it's worth a shot…especially if your weight-loss hypnosis isn't going so well.

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