Would You Do This to Curb Your Appetite?

Would You Do This to Curb Your Appetite?

Portion control isn’t the easiest thing in the world—but finding that proper food balance is essential if you want to build and maintain a healthy body for years to come. But what if you have have a hard time controlling your eating habits?

Enter the FDA recently approved the Maestro Rechargeable System. It’s a device designed to curb the appetite of obese patients who have struggled to lose weight with conventional methods. The device is surgically implanted in the lower abdomen area, where it sends electrical signals from your stomach to your brain. The idea is that these pulses trick your brain into thinking you’re satiated by essentially blocking the nerve activity between your stomach and brain.

To test its effectiveness, the electrical pulse generator was implanted in 233 patients, 157 of whom were given an active device. The other 76  were given one that wasn’t turned on. After 12 months, about half of the participants who were given the active device lost at least 20% of their body weight and lost 8% more weight than those with the device that hadn’t been switched on.

Yet, the weight loss didn’t come without consequences. The FDA found patients experienced nausea, vomiting, pain at the device location, chest pain, heartburn, and other symptoms.

But a bigger question remains. Is basically installing a garage door opener in one’s stomach really necessary? The FDA release says it’s for those who have been unable to lose weight with conventional methods. It’s almost as if the technology is designed to help people sidestep healthy eating and exercise.

“I think it completely misses the point on what is making our society obese,” said Denis Faye, Beachbody Director of Nutrition Content. “It comes down to two points. One is the quality of food. If you are eating super caloric foods like cake and ice cream all the time, the damage will be done whether you have a gadget sending messages to your brain or not. Two is that it completely misses the mental aspect of overeating. When some people eat, it’s not because they are hungry, it’s because they’re psychologically conditioned to do so. All of the technology in the world won’t fix that.”