Sorry, this method of dieting could never work

  • What will future archaeologists make of this weird new mouth-clamp invention? 
  • This weight loss device is truly hideous 
  • Here’s why this method of dieting can never work

It’s the year 12001 AD…

The world is in ruins.

Floods and drought carried away an entire civilisation.

But from the rubble, a new society has emerged – half cockroach, half human.

They can’t remember the world of 2021, and most of what we know today has decayed, been submerged, or grown over.

However, there are fragments left…

Pieces of our lives that the cockroach humanoids of the future pick over, trying to work out what on earth was going on before the apocalypse.

One of these future archaeologists is called Zfffffff.

It sounds like a weird name, but in 12001AD the creatures who inhabit earth don’t vocalise their names, but instead rub their hairy insectoid legs together to make a sound.

Anyway, Zfffffff is confused.

Because he has found a lot of strange things in his time…. like flat black plastic oblongs with glass screens, and little metal discs with a woman’s face on them….

But this one is baffling.

It appears to be a small magnetic clamp – and it must have been used to hold a human mouth shut, because it’s still attached to two teeth.

Zfffffff scratches his head.

Why would humans want to clamp their mouths shut? Why would they need to?

What in crikey was going on in 2021 that the people had to barricade their mouths.

He wonders, was it to protect themselves against being force fed by an evil enemy?

Or perhaps the humans were wiped out because they all decided to stop eating?

Poor, baffled Zfffffff goes on his way, the mouth clamp in his satchel, so he can study it later.

You can see why someone in the future might be confused by the existence of a mouth clamp.

But here we are in 2021, and such a thing actually exists.

This weight loss device is truly hideous

The state of the obesity crisis has got to such ludicrous proportions that, rather than tackling the deep root causes of the problem, someone has decided that the best solution is just to clamp our mouths shut.

You might have seen this story in the press at the end of June?

Researchers in the United Kingdom and New Zealand have created a device that uses magnets to prevent the user from fully opening their mouths.

This means they can only drink liquid.

Or as the Daily Star elegantly called it…


A study based on the mouth clamp was published in the British Dental Journal, where it was revealed that obese female patients spent 14 days on a strict low-calorie liquid diet.

They lost 14 pounds in that two week period because they could only suck in about 1,200 calories per day.

Does that seem ok to you?

It’s absolutely horrifying to me.

Apart from the fact that a mouth clamp is like some awful mediaeval torture device, humiliating and painful, there are a whole load of other things wrong with this.


How is something like that sustainable?

Sure, you could clamp the magnets onto somebody and force them to shed a stone in two weeks – but what happens when the clamps come off?

Nothing at the root of their problem will have changed.

Factors might include…. Sleep problems, anxiety, depression, food addiction, eating disorder, mental health issues, lack of exercise, poverty, poor diet, lack of dietary knowledge… I could go on!

So all that will happen is that the stone will pile back on – and then most likely they’ll get heavier than they were before.


How is this process healthy?

Crash diets are not the way to lose weight long term, because the severe diet is not something that you will ever be able to stick to.

And it can actually make the obesity problem worse.

If you lose weight too quickly it can actually slow down your metabolism, making it easier to pile on the pounds in the future.

The crash diet usually involves depriving yourself of nutrients, which can compromise your immune system and put pressure on your heart.

For a safe rate of weight loss you should aim for between 1lb and 2lb a week.

How will this help society?

Even if something like this actually worked for an individual, how would it help solve the obesity issue for everyone else.

You can’t just put everyone in a mouth clamp!

It requires a massive shift in the way we produce, market, and consume food.

It requires education in nutrition and the mechanics of weight gain and weight loss.

It requires a severing of our unhealthy addiction to fast food, convenience food and sugar.

This is what we should be actively promoting, not this bizarrely outdated short-term fix (and it’s not even a fix because it can’t possibly work).

Even the researchers who created the mouth clamp conceded that the contraption was terrible:

They said: “Most patients experienced occasional discomfort due to the device and it was quite severe after 24 hours, with the friction of the device against the cheeks being the main reason…. After 24 hours, the participants indicated that they occasionally felt embarrassed, self-conscious and that life, in general, was less satisfying.”


So you have an embarrassed self-conscious person who is hugely overweight….

And you then make them more embarrassed and self-conscious by clamping their mouth shut with magnets.

What could possibly go wrong?

I despair, I really do.