Maintaining a healthy body weight is important because being even moderately overweight can cause many other serious health problems. In nearly every developed country, over half of the adult population is overweight or obese. Co-morbidities such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory problems, GERD, low self-esteem, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and some cancers are directly related to obesity. Most scientists who specialize in overweight and obesity agree that even a loss of 5% to 10% of body weight can have as much as a 30% improvement in co-morbidities.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is often used to assess body fat and screen for weight categories that can increase health risks. As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) BMI of 25 is considered normal. BMI between 25 and 30 is classified as overweight, BMI 30 – 35 is Class I obesity, BMI 35 – 40 is Class II obesity and BMI greater than 40 is Class III obesity.
Current treatment options for weight loss in overweight and obese people are limited and side effects are prevalent. Basically, other than diet and exercise, there are only two approaches that can defend their claims with evidence-based, published data:
- Pharmacotherapy. Recently published studies confirm that pharmacological treatments for excess weight cause only modest weight loss over placebo with marginal long-term results. They work by affecting the brain, the heart or the digestive system. Side effects can include cardiovascular complications, lack of bowel control and unnerving psychological changes. Pharmaceutical therapy is expensive and must be taken for a long period of time to achieve and maintain results, although some are not recommended for use for longer than one year due to unknown long-term effects on the heart and brain.
- Surgery. At the other extreme, for individuals with BMI > 35 with co-morbidities or BMI > 40 without, surgical procedures such as gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding are available. Bariatric surgery has severe side effects such as dumping syndrome and vitamin deficiency. Also, it can result in serious complications during and after the procedure, so it is generally not indicated for patients who are overweight or Class I obese. Bariatric surgery uses the same mode of action as the SMART Device, which is Dietary Restriction, but is not removable or easily reversed
The SMART™ Device is a small, non-surgical oral device made specifically for your mouth for maximum effectiveness. It is used only while eating. It limits food intake at the mouth, where bariatric surgery limits food intake at the stomach (which requires surgery).