Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to eat whatever you wanted, and still lose weight? Well, the guy who invented the Segway self-balancing scooter has come up with a new device that could do exactly that – if you can get past the gross-out factor. It’s a pump that connects to a surgically-implanted tube in your abdomen. It literally siphons partly-digested food straight out of your stomach before the calories can be absorbed and you just flush it down the toilet.
It’s called the Aspiration Therapy System. Patients connect the pump about 20 minutes after major meals and spend 5 to 10 minutes eliminating one-third of their stomach’s contents. Then, they disconnect the pump, close a valve over a poker-chip-size port, and go on with their day.
It sounds gross, but it’s apparently effective. During a one-year test, patients using the system lost nearly half of their excess weight – or about 45 pounds. But there were complaints that the pump didn’t work well with large chunks of food – and got “clogged” quite often.
Critics are horrified by this so-called weight loss “solution” including obesity expert Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum. He says that quick fixes can be dangerous – especially if they involve surgery. And he says it would be much healthier for us to focus on portion sizes and nutrition.
But the company insists the suction device would be a tool used with counseling and group support meetings to encourage healthier food choices. They also point out that as patients learn proper eating habits, they’d need to use the pump less often. And if there’s a problem, the tube can be removed in a 15-minute outpatient procedure.
What do you think: Would you use a weight-loss device that sucked food straight out of your stomach? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.