Technology has done a lot to improve our health, both in terms of medical advances, as well as technology that helps us to account for our daily lifestyle choices. However, not all of this technology is made equally.
Modius Health has released a headset that the company claims will help wearers lose weight with less effort, as they are convinced that most of weight loss comes down to psychology. But, can a headset really help you lose weight? The promise of its effortlessness is enough to raise eyebrows.
The headset itself is fairly unassuming. It’s made of plastic, but unlike a fashion headband, it has two little electrodes hanging off of it, which are intended to be attached to the head behind the ears.
When you switch the band on, the electrode pads send signals to the brain, which can be adjusted to spend stronger or weaker signals, much like electro-stimulaters use to work on tight muscles.
According to Modius, the electric signals get sent directly to the hypothalamus, which regulates our appetite. The stimulation is supposed to trick the hypothalamus into lowering the bodies weight set point, which will in turn lower a person’s appetite.
Despite the claims Modius makes, when investigated more deeply, their research failed to satisfy most of the basic requirements for determining efficacy.
Their sample size was incredibly small, and the results they achieved with the headband were too small to be statistically significant. Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt told The Verge, “I can say with confidence that they haven’t tested it carefully enough to prove that it does work. If someone approached the FDA for approval of a weight-loss drug based on evidence like this, they’d be laughed out of the building.”
Furthermore, it seems there’s little evidence to support the claim that the headset can lower the body’s set point. Better to shell out the cash for a dietitian.