This cheesecake clocks in at 1,500 calories, 43 grams of saturated fat, and 21 teaspoons of sugar
A slice of Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. Reuters/Dominick Reuter

A new surgical implant to treat obesity has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States on Wednesday.

The Maestro system, as the implant is called, is the first surgical implant to generate an intermittent electrical pulse that blocks nerve signals from the brain to the stomach to reduce pangs of hunger. Maestro thus helps prevent people from feeling hungry and reduces their intake of food.

The device Maestro can only be used in adults with a body mass index of 35 to 45 who have at least one other obesity-related condition, such as Type 2 diabetes. These candidates must also have tried to shed pounds in a supervised weight-loss programme in the five years preceding the use of Maestro.

In a trial that lasted a whole year, 157 obese adults who received the device lost 8.5 per cent more of their weight than 76 patients in the control group who were given a fake implant. The goal was for a weight loss of 10 per cent, which wasn't met. However, a committee set up by the Food and Drug Administration ruled that the benefits of the implant outweighed its risks, and therefore approved the device.

Some of the serious side effects of Maestro implant included nausea, pain near the implant, vomiting and surgical complications.

The Maestro device, manufactured by a company called EnteroMedics, can be recharged by the patient, and clinicians can adjust its settings.

The manufacturer aims to offer the implant at 20 centers nationwide by the end of 2015. Its price is still not set, and insurance companies have not yet decided whether to cover it.

Maestro is not meant for anyone who is overweight, but the risks of being overweight should be greater than the risks involved in using this surgical implant.

According to the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the United States, about 33.9 percent of adults ages 19-79 were overweight, 13.4 percent were obese and 6.4 were extremely obese.

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