If, dear readers, you are anything like me, than the mere sight of carrot cake, the smell of freshly barbecued meats or the taste of home canned jam is enough to drive you crazy. The problem is that these delightful sensations send signals to the brain, which in turn gears up the system for yet more food. As a nation where most are overweight, this may not be such a good thing. After all, we are no longer cavemen in search of the next meal, a meal which could make the difference between survival and being cut out of the evolutionary cycle.
Yes, you should try diet and exercise, but unfortunately most of us don’t do enough of either. You can ask your doctor for the latest in diet pills, which by the way come with a hefty (no pun intended) price tag and even weightier (pun intended) side effects. As a last resort, with insurance approval a gastric bypass surgery might be considered. But here again, the surgery is no picnic and neither are the potential risks.
For years researchers have known the stimulating certain nerves produces the paradoxical effect inhibiting brain signals. Pacemakers, for example can be used to “overdrive” or overcome natural heart pacemakers and thus slow a rapidly beating heart. Well, somewhere, some genius (perhaps he or she had had enough of the diet conscious portions) the brilliant idea of stimulating the stomach and thus overcoming the hunger urge. Preliminary studies have shown that use of such a gastric stimulation device results in measurable weight loss.
The theory is that the stomach is stimulated, which in turn sends a signal to the brain or head honcho: Yo, dude we’ve had enough! This results in a sensation of fullness and voila! the hand leaves the Fritos’ bag unopened.
Is this device ready for prime time? Absolutely not! More studies need to confirm the weight loss effect. The device needs to be proven safe. Which patients should have the device implanted need to be determined. Still within a few years, expect to see these things hit the medical market. Until then, keep the exercise up, eat sensibly and stay away from the Fritos’ bag.