At first, the idea of gas-filled balloons to help obese people lose weight sounded like a lot of hogwash to me. I felt these science people had too much time and too much money to fool around with. But instead of minding my own business, the curious cat in me decided to see what this was all about. A few lines into reading it up, my first impression was of a man walking around lugging a huge balloon in his stomach. I chuckled. Imagine deliberately giving myself a pot-belly.
But this scientists are serious people. They believe good diet pills can be a gas-filled balloons in a person’s tummy. The thing about people like them is that, you have no choice but to listen when they talk. All those impressive degrees from prestigious universities must mean something. Like perhaps, they are very intelligent and know what they are talking. Anyway, I have always being a sucker for science and research. That must be the real reason I even bothered to click the link.
Over-view Of The Research
The research was presented at Digestive Disease Week 2016. This conference brings together experts, scientists and specialists doctors who are have deep knowledge of things related to how our stomachs and digestive system work. Basically, the report claimed that swallowing gas-filled balloons can help people eat less.
The logic is hard to fault. Gas-filled balloons in your stomach would take up the space food is meant to be. The immediate effect is to make you eat less. Ultimately, eating less would result in weight loss. Flawless reasoning I must say.
As for the actual research, it involved 387 people to test the gas-filled balloon pills over a period of 6 months. The selected group had a body mass index of between 30 and 40. Which is seriously overweight. After 6 months, the results show that the individuals who swallowed the gas-filled balloons had lost almost 7% of their weight as against just over 3% weight-loss for those who did not take the gas-filled balloon pills. In other words, those who took the experimental gas-filled balloons lost twice as much weight than those who did not. And of course, with the weight loss came the other health benefits in terms of lowered blood pressure and cholesterol.
It is an interesting study to say the least. You can read more details of the research here if you have the time. Better still, create time and read it.
Gas-Filled Balloons Vs Exercises
I have never taken weight-loss pills before. I have an aversion to pills that are not meant to treat diseases caused by actual pathogens. So you can sort of guess I’d be skeptical about this pill. However, it is just gas-filled balloons, right? No chemicals in them. It is almost like the mechanics of the tummy. Basically, reducing the size of one’s stomach. I can see how that can have little side effects. That is why the reported side effects, abdominal cramps and nausea, surprised me a bit. Maybe it is just the body’s natural instinctive reaction against a foreign material.
I see this method of weight-loss as very suitable for people who are averse to any form of physical activity. I mean, look at how long it took the study group to loss weight. 6 months. Come on, any good old fashion work out like running, or low-impact exercises like swimming can do a lot in six months. With just commitment and consistency, 6 months is even too much to see results. Which bring us nicely to…
Cost Of These Procedures
You can bet your pound of flesh that a gas-filled balloon pill like this would cost a pretty penny when it is finally approved. It is the way of the world that new revolutionary drugs are always very expensive. The result of the companies targeting the rich and looking out for their profits. It would be several years down the road before generic versions are available. Mostly made in India, these generic versions are much less costly and as effective too. Though there is always the possibility that fake ones would flood the market. That is normal fare too. Vigilance is the Watch word.
A word of advice from Dr Shelby Sullivan, who presented the report on behalf of her team, “While the devices can make you feel full earlier with a meal, they’re not going to make you want to eat broccoli or go out and exercise,”
There, an endorsement of a healthy diet and lifestyle changes like physical exercise from a respected scientist.