British researchers are claiming that a new pill, once swallowed, inflates into a balloon and “mimics the stomach-restricting nature of weight-loss surgery,” according to a CBS News report.
The Obalon Balloon is a “non-surgical, reversible weight-loss option” that “assists with weight loss by helping you feel fuller sooner and eat less,” per the manufacturer’s website. “This, along with diet and exercise, jump-starts your efforts, proving that when it comes to losing weight, less is truly more.”
Contained within a capsule that’s attached to a thin tube, the balloon is inflated with gas at the top of the stomach — a procedure that takes less than 15 minutes. Up to three balloons are placed over a period of 12 weeks, and after about three months, the device needs to be removed.
The device can help individuals who are overweight and obese lose up to 20 pounds, according to the product website.
Unlike more invasive procedures like gastric bypass or Lap-Band, the balloon doesn’t shrink the stomach. As U.K.-based fitness expert Tim Bean also told CBS’s Alphonso Van Marsh: “When they take the balloons out, what happens is the stomach hasn’t shrunk. So you’re left with the same size stomach, or possibly even bigger than there was beforehand.”
Dr. Sally Norton, a bariatric surgeon at Spire Hospital, Bristol in England — which offers the procedure — told Van Marsh she plans to use the Obalon Balloon to educate patients about portion size. “This balloon will act to educate them about portion size and retrain their brain and their mindset a little.”
The procedure is currently limited by Federal Law for investigational use only in the United States. It has not been approved or cleared for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is not available for sale in the United States.
Tell Us: Do you think this is an effective tool, or the next miraculous weight-loss scheme?
A More Holistic, Healthy Approach: Don’t Believe the Hype
“Give up on gimmicks, fads, and instant fixes. Most miraculous weight-loss schemes do more harm than good, and yo-yo dieting is a recipe for weight gain.” –Revolutionary Act #48
These two sentences sum up Experience Life‘s stance on procedures like the Obalon Balloon. We believe lasting, sustainable weight loss is the result of behavioral shifts that take time — sometimes a long time — and that there’s no one way to create lasting change.
Learn more about our healthy living philosophy via our 101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy App. Inspired by the “101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy” (www.revolutionaryact.com/101ways), the “101 Ways” mobile app nudges you toward healthier daily choices and attitudes while helping you develop the practical skills and unconventional know-how you need to get and stay strong.
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Looking for more inspiration, motivation and support to make and maintain healthy changes? Check out the stories of healthy change in our “How I’m Doing It” blog — and feel free to share your own.