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Now this sounds goofy: A tongue patch for weight loss?

August 17, 2010

Los Angelenos should be proud: We just received word of a local weight-loss treatment in which you tie up your tongue "as a constant and daily reminder of [the] desire and choice to lose weight."  Kind of like tying a string on your finger?

On further reading, it doesn't seem quite like tying (but it still sounds uncomfortable). According to the PR information, the tongue is measured, then a patch is cut from surgical mesh and attached to your tongue. While affixed, it "causes discomfort when the patient tries to eat or chew." The "ideal patient" can experience 15 to 30 pounds of weight loss in a month on a liquid diet, the publicists say, and then the patch is removed. (At which point....)

What cave I've been hiding in I can't imagine, because according to the marketing information, the Chugay Tongue Patch, as it is called -- named after its inventor, Dr. Nikolas Chugay of Long Beach -- is "taking California by a storm in the battle against the bulge." Our colleague over in Chicago, Julie Deardorff, wrote an item about the tongue patch a while back in which she declared it the "most barbaric weight loss treatment of the day."

By the way, an awful lot of weight loss products seem to take this or that part of the planet by a storm: According to a quick Google search I just did, this year the Acai berry and the Mandura Trim supplement are taking the world by a storm, the Morning Banana diet is taking Japan by a storm,  and Tanya Zuckerbrot's F-Factor diet (whatever that is) is "taking Manhattan society by storm," and it's welcome to it. 

And then, sooner or later (undoubtedly much thinner), we move on ... which reminds me, have you heard about the Spam-and-cabbage diet yet?

--Rosie Mestel/L.A. Times

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