Horrified at Stomach Pumping Machine

So I happened upon a link to ABCNews a few days ago, and meant to write about this, but ran out of motivation unfortunately.

The Aspire Assist

This is the AspireAssist, a tube that goes directly from your stomach (like, the organ), out of your abdominal muscle/skin and is attached manually to a pump about 20 minutes after eating.  At this point, 30% of the ingested food will be sucked out by the pump and dumped into a toilet.

Here’s the video that I watched on ABC’s News site:

A few things to get straight:  This is not FDA approved, so it’s not available to us in the US.  Next, this is considered for long term weight management.  That means, you keep this tube for as long as you like, and don’t need to learn to eat better, exercise, moderate portion sizes, or any of those other “pesky” weight loss “gimmicks” (please read the sarcasm here).  When I was in highschool, girls who had eating disorders were scorned, mocked, degraded, and sure, maybe envied for their willowesque figures.

But now, as adults, we understand that eating disorders are not healthy.  So how is this any different than say, bulimia? Sure, you aren’t ripping apart your esophagus with stomach acid, nor are you eroding your teeth, but you are still controlling the aftermath of eating, rather than controlling the eating in the first place.   This has been done so far in a few countries in Europe, including Sweden (if I remember correctly) and here are some things that patients and doctors have mentioned.

“Some people manage to lose weight on a diet, but the kinds of changes you need to make to keep it off are probably not sustainable for many,” she said. “There’s a lot to be said for people being in the driver’s seat with their own body, with their own health. This allows a patient to do that while under the care of a physician.” ~ Katherine D. Crothall, president and CEO of Aspire Bariatrics, the maker of the AspireAssist

Really?  So the problem is that we can’t maintain our weight loss?  No kidding!  That’s not news, that’s life.

From Wall-E in the year 2805

But, Crothall believes that this pump can help us keep our weight managed (without the irritation of being responsible for our actions, rather we just deal with the consequences more efficiently).

“People often wish they could just eat and make the calories go away. It was only a matter of time before someone came up with this. This is an enabling device, not a helping device ,it doesn’t do anything to make someone change their relationship with food. Once you put this in someone, they’re never going to want it taken out.” ~ Keith Ayoob, an associate clinical professor of nutrition at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City

Oh thank God, someone with some sense, and even a PHD!

Now here’s the funniest part.  This is supposed to be a “temporary” solution, because surgery is long-term and pretty much unchangeable without additional surgery, right?

Crothall (creator and CEO) said that her company hadn’t looked at how weight loss is maintained once the device is removed but was marketing the device for long-term use. She said that trial participants were offered counseling to help them modify their eating habits, but there was only anecdotal evidence that any of them made changes.

Cederhag said he’d eventually like to get to the point where he no longer needed the pump, but if he couldn’t maintain his lower weight without it, he’d be fine with keeping the AspireAssist in indefinitely.

So…back to square one.  We are now turning into the people in Wall-E.  We’ll be relying on machines to do the work so we don’t have to.

My mind is still reeling, I’m just hoping that this doesn’t become a solution for many, as it is clearly designed to be.  I can understand if someone is “morbidly” obese then any method to help them lose weight would be better than nothing (right? Maybe not?  I just never know anymore), and if this would be the only way they could get down to a weight that they could even consider starting to exercise at, then maybe it’s not so bad?  I’m being my own devil’s advocate here, and my brain is really having a hard time justifying the insanity of this.

What are your thoughts?  Would you have a tube in your abdomen to help you lose weight?  Why or why not?

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