diets · eating · weight loss

The Mesh Tongue Patch for Weight Loss. No Thanks.

small mesh rectangle held between thumb and index finger wearing rubber gloves.Not too long ago I wrote about men who body shame women. One of the people at the centre of the latest controversy when I wrote that was an influential Venezuelan beauty pageant host named Osmel Sousa.  His name has come up again in an interview with a Venezuelan “beauty queen” who has, at Sousa’s advice, had a boob job and surgery to get rid of a slight “hook” in the shape or her nose.

But breast augmentation and nose jobs don’t really shock me much anymore.  I still wish women weren’t so fixated on their looks that they would go under the knife to look different, and I do think that it would be bad for women if the culture of cosmetic surgery (for purely aesthetic reasons) really took hold so that it was expected.  At the same time, I have known women who did indeed feel better about themselves after surgeries.

And body transformation is so rampant in our world, through means that range from extreme dieting to heavy weight training with all sorts of stops in between. But the interview made me aware of a new method for losing weight that seems like some sort of medieval torture.  It’s a mesh patch that is literally stitched to the tongue.

How does it aid weight loss?  By making it too painful to eat solid food!  If we have to draw the line somewhere on the continuum between taking good care of ourselves and abusing our bodies and ourselves so we can lose a few pounds, I’m going to say we should draw it on THIS side of mesh tongue patches that make it too painful to eat solid food.

One thing is for sure. The mesh tongue patch is a short term solution.  The patch is temporary, and so is the weight loss.  Why? Because it doesn’t work on habits. Just like any weight loss diet, the real test is not whether the weight comes off, but whether it stays off.

If you put a patch on your tongue so you can’t eat solid food for a few weeks, how likely is it that you’re going to start eating regular food as soon as the patch comes off? If it were me, I’d be grabbing for whatever solid food was in my grasp–from fruit to chocolate cake, from hummus to veggie burgers, I wouldn’t care–as soon as my tongue healed enough for me to tolerate eating solids.

A doctor who spent 14 seasons on the Biggest Loser thinks it’s “barbaric.” According to this article:

Studies show most extreme dieters who lose weight rapidly eventually gain it all back — and more, he said.

“There’s not one scintilla of hope or evidence that putting a patch on your tongue and not being able to eat for a month is going to have any effect on you at one year, or two years or three years,” he said.

That sounds about right.

Here’s more about the tongue patch fad in Venezuela:

 

One thought on “The Mesh Tongue Patch for Weight Loss. No Thanks.

  1. I’m not so sanguine about cosmetic surgery. I think we’re there in terms of expectations. It’s almost a class thing. The poor age and the rich don’t. The rich have large breasts and the poor wear padded bras. Have you read The Pretties? Young adult sci fi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretties. And it might make one feel better, indeed it’s not a surprise that it does, but insofar as it raises the bar and sets a new standard of what’s normal for all women, I think there are moral issues/collective decision problems with it. That’s not to say I don’t understand why someone would do it.

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