obesity-gadgets.jpg Obesity has become the curse of modern times. In the US alone, around 65% of the population is overweight. As a result, most people are forced to live with heart diseases, diabetes and other weight related conditions. This has created a billion dollar industry for products and devices that fight obesity.

Product Highlights

A new pacemaker, being developed by Medtronic Inc., is expected to contract the muscles of the stomach to dissipate hunger pangs.

Review of Medtronic's pace maker
a. The pacemaker is as big as a stopwatch.
b. It is implanted under the skin of the abdomen and the attached electrical wires are placed on the walls of the stomach.
c. The pacemaker causes the stomach to contract, thus leading to a feeling of ‘fullness’.

Enteromedics Inc
. of Minneapolis, in association with Mayo Clinic, is developing ‘Maestro’, a product that can paralyze the digestion process of the stomach with electrical currents.

Review of Maestro
a. It is an implantable device.
b. This device blocks the Vagus nerve of the cranium and paralyzes the stomach.
c. It slows the digestion process.
d. It is implanted beneath the skin of the abdomen and attached electrical wires are placed on the stomach.
e. Device is to be tested on 15 people initially.
f. The device stops secretion of digestive enzymes.
g. The device shuts down the pancreas.
h. The implanted patient absorbs less food.

CP404, a new nasal spray designed to block the senses of smell and taste, is being developed by Compellis Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Review of CP404, new nasal spray
a. It will block out the senses of taste and smell.
b. Since smell often triggers hunger, this spray is expected to be the answer to dieter’s dilemma.
c. The spray will make one immune to the smells of cinnamon bun, pizza or bakeries.
d. The spray, codenamed CP404, is being projected as a tool to fight obesity.
e. 65% overweight Americans stand to benefit from this product.
f. Its retail cost would be around $500 to $1,000 a year.

The wonder pill, Acomplia, switches off the brain circuits that trigger hunger. Introduced in Britain in June, France’s Sanofi-Aventis, the developer of this product, expects to enter the US market by April 2007.