The FDA’s Decision To Approve Obesity Shock Collar Is, Well, Shocking

Obesity Shock Collar Recommended for Approval by FDASince self-control clearly isn’t a valid weight-loss method (especially whenever a bag of chips is within a 3-mile radius), the FDA wants to treat us like animals by introducing the first-ever obesity shock collar.

If you’re thinking, “Shock collars? Like, a dog shock collar?” then you’d be exactly right!

The newest “miracle cure” for obesity is apparently electricity—at least, according to a new device that has just been recommended for approval by the FDA’s nine-member Gastroenterology and Urology Device Panel.

And it appears that the same method of electrically stimulating a dog’s neck to make it stop barking works in humans, too. Except the Maestro Rechargeable System is designed to curb someone’s appetite by electrically stimulating stomach nerves, instead of getting us to stop talking (but there’s an invention worth looking into).

While not an actual obesity shock collar, this gadget doesn’t send harmful shocks to your tummy when you pick up a slice of cake or think about ice cream. Instead, it works as a nerve-blocker to curb hanger pangs, making you feel full. Aimed at obese adults with a BMI (your body mass index) over 40, the Maestro Rechargeable System is marketed as an alternative to weight-loss surgery.

Want the technical details? You should, if you ever plan on using it:

The Maestro consists of a “pulse generator” surgically implanted under the skin of the chest wall. This delivers high-frequency electrical pulses to leads laid along two trunks of the vagus nerve, which helps control the function of many organs in the abdomen.

You should also want to know if it’s safe.

Well, the advisory panel seems to think so. But at the same time, it’s a gadget that sends electrical shocks while surgically implanted inside your chest. So think about that before getting on the operating table.

As for the product actually working, the final vote about its functionality between FDA board members resulted in a 5-4 outcome, with the “no’s” outweighing the “yes’s.” So I—along with five other board members—am skeptical about it actually working.

It’s not the craziest weight loss method, that’s for sure. From diet pills, to juice cleansers, to fat-melting machines and even the ShakeWeight, there are tons of weird, wild and out-of-this-world dieting trends that I want no part of whatsoever.

But if this is going to come out onto the market (and chances are, it will), perhaps it’s worth a shot…especially if your weight-loss hypnosis isn’t going so well.

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    • Alana Vincenza

      No thanks, I’d rather be fat than shock myself into a size smaller jeans.

      • Erin Kelly


    • Michelle Vicari

      Overweight and obesity affects the health of 93 million Americans and a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Sadly, treatment is often limited to the conditions caused by obesity (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.) and not the obesity itself. I applaud the continued research into different obesity treatment methods (behavioral, pharmaceutical, surgical,) while the device wouldn’t be something I would personal want, the technology of that device along with healthy eating, exercise and counseling might be of great help to many and help reduce that staggering statistic above. A device that sends an electrical pulse… sounds a lot like a pacemaker and we don’t bash those but something for obesity and it’s bashed… sounds a little like weight bias at play.

    • berrou

      If you seem to have more than an inch to pinch on your waist no matter what you eat or whether you focus on intervals or weight training, the problem may not be your stomach but another organ…

    • haidy abd elhamed

      Getting fit seems simple from a scientific standpoint: Eat less calories, exercise more. Track your progress. But, in practice, the process is not always so simple…. more information visit