Implant to make you feel full

Scientists say they have found a way to think yourself thin.

A device no bigger than a matchbox implanted in the stomach can fool the body into believing it has been fed.

Trials on obese patients have led to almost 20 per cent weight loss in some cases.

The gastric stimulator is similar to a cardiac pacemaker.

But instead of stimulating the heart, its electrical impulses reduce the feelings of hunger by slowing the movement of food through the intestine.

Nerve centres in the stomach then tell the brain there is no more room for food.

Dr Scott Shikora, of Tuf t s- New England Medical Centre in Boston, revealed the breakthrough to the American Association for the Study of Obesity.

He said 30 volunteers with an average weight of 17st were implanted with the device at an outpatient clinic.

Two thirds lost an average 18 per cent of their body weight.

Dr Shikora added: 'The patients don't feel a buzzing or pain.

'They just don't have an appetite, or they feel full very quickly.'

Obesity is a major problem in Britain. In children it has doubled in two decades, while among adults it has almost tripled.

Overweight children as young as five already display early warning signs of heart disease.

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