Overweight Brits could undergo stomach reduction surgery on the NHS, which involves just inserting a tube down their throat.
Health watchdog NICE today proposed allowing endoscopic gastrointestinal surgery for people who do not want weight loss surgery.
The 90-minute operation involves folding and stitching the stomach from the inside to shrink it by two-thirds and stop the patient from eating too much.
One study found that nearly eight out of 10 patients lost a quarter of their body weight within a year of surgery.
One in four adults in England are obese – more than 10 million people.
Obesity costs the NHS around £6.5 billion a year and medics are racing to make us slimmer and demand for weight-loss vaccines such as Ozempic is booming.
Professor Jonathan Benger, Chief Medical Officer at NICE, said: “Our committee has found that endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is safe and effective.
“It can reduce the size of the stomach, making people feel full even after eating a smaller amount of food.
“One of the advantages is that this procedure can be carried out as a day case and does not require an overnight stay, reducing the time patients spend in hospital.
“Recovery is also quicker.”
To be eligible, patients must have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 and have tried unsuccessfully to remove the flab through diet and exercise.