CARACAS, VENEZUELA — A diet trend in Venezuela is sweeping the country. People are sewing a plastic patch on their tongue making it uncomfortable to eat.
The supposed “miracle” tongue patch is gaining popularity amongst Venezuelans since it became available in Caracas clinics last year.
The fad is the latest weight-loss technique in a country where female physical appearance is so prized that breast implants are commonly offered as 15th birthday presents.
Launched in 2009 by Nikolas Chugay, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, the patch is an abrasive piece of marlex—a material typically used in hernia repair—about the size of a postage stamp. Secured to the top of the tongue by six stitches, the patch renders the consumption of solid food very painful, forcing patients who have trouble controlling their calorie-intake onto liquid diets.