What do the lap-band, the Food Phone, and the VBLOC have in common? Well! These are just some of the hottest new weight loss devices available today, to help you shed those extra pounds you have been carrying around for a while. The pervasive digital age, and some smart scientists, have combined forces to create new frontiers in weight loss techniques for anyone who is looking to lose that extra weight.. These new weight loss tips and techniques may not be for everyone, but people are jumping right in, and getting comfortable using them. It seems like this may be exactly what some folks need to finally break the yoke of obesity from off their lives.
Take the LAP-BAND for example. This is an Adjustable Gastric Banding System designed to help you gradually lose pounds, and control your weight by reducing the amount of food that your stomach can hold at one time. The company who pioneered this device, Allergan, claims that this technology has been created after a great amount of research and development. The name “LAP-BAND” comes from the minimally invasive surgical technique known as a laparoscopy. This minimally invasive surgery, places a silicone gastric band around the top of the upper part of your stomach. The system then works by helping you controls your food intake and supporting long term, sustainable weight loss. At least that is the official company line.
The Food Phone is another new technique for weight loss, but is fairly low-tech. What will they think of next? It appears that an entire sub-set of the weight loss industry has sprung around common digital devices we use daily, such as cell-phones, PDA’s, and computers. These are supposedly programmed to help us achieve our weight loss goals. Over the last few years, dieting has truly gone digital. These devices are now helpers in the fight against obesity, and chronic health issues due to overweight.. But this new weight loss tip has an unusual twist.
The food Phone works like this. You pay a monthly fee to stay connected to the system. The system is actually a network of users, dieticians, and techno-geeks that are connected via cell phones and computers and available twenty four hours per day. If you get the urge to eat, you first take a digital picture of what you want to consume, and send it via email or text message to your Food Phone coach. Your coach then phones you back with an instant approval or disapproval”. He will also send you suggestions for what to do instead, such as eating half a portion of your desired treat. There is a monthly fee for this service of approximately US$150.00, and of course, there are people who have signed up for it.
What is the justification for these new weight loss devices? In the words of New York University Nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS.RD, “If something helps you make healthy lifestyle changes, and you can maintain those changes, then it’s always a good thing,”
Lona Sandon, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association declares that “Clearly, some of these devices and services are better than others but in the end it still comes down to you, how much you eat and how much you exercise — that’s what matters most,”
Recently, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested a new weight loss device called the VBLOC. The main feature of this device is its ability to suppress hunger pangs, making a patient eat less, thus losing weight. This VBLOC is a receiver of sorts, which, at the time of testing, had already helped a dozen patients lose approximately 29 percent of their excess body weight.
In the case of the VBLOC, the Patients wore a belt that transmitted electronic impulses that block signals travelling between the brain and the stomach via the vagus nerve. By blocking this signal, hunger pangs are suppressed, and the patient naturally eats less. VBLOC Therapy’s affect on controlling obesity is being studied at several select centers within and outside the U.S.
These studies are created to determine safety and efficacy of this weight loss method, and reports are that these studies are being conducted under a strict protocol approved by institutional review boards and regulatory agencies. An article on the new device says that it works by flowing 5,000 hertz worth of electricity out of the neuro-regulator and down two laparoscopic inserted electrical leads onto the vagus nerve every five minutes.
The intended targets are clearly those people who are suffering from obesity, not just those desirous of shedding a few pounds. They are presumably more willing to use these new weight loss devices to help them in their quest for weight reduction. New weight loss tips come and go, but one thing is for certain. It, is that your own will and discipline will always be important factors in the fight against overweight or obesity. Technology will help, but ultimately, the results you get will depend on you.