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What Could Go Wrong?

Would you swallow a balloon to lose weight? That is a new weight loss technique currently in limited rollout in the U.K. It sounds fake but it’s real.

The patient swallows a deflated balloon in a capsule. Once the capsule reaches the stomach, the doctor pumps it with one liter of water through a tube. The expanded balloon will help the patient feel fuller so that they eat less. The water balloon stays in the stomach for about four months before it deflates and the patient poops it out.

Early trials show that patients lost an average of 15% of their body mass index in four months and kept 95% of it off for at least a year.

It’s not the worst idea we’ve heard. How much worse can it be than swallowing gum, which stays in your body for seven years. Or is that an old wives’ tale? Yeah it is. Gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for seven years.

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