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I first saw this in a BBC special, “The Men Who Made Us Thin,” back in 2013. The documentary showcased different products, like Weight Watchers and Slim Fast, and the people who brought them to market. But one segment was all about a new device that is surgically attached and would allow one, about a half-hour after eating a meal, to head to the bathroom and “drain” the meal right out of your stomach.
I thought it was disgusting, and potentially dangerous to mind and body then, and I am even more concerned now. It sounds like the ultimate bulimia solution, I suppose, and the FDA has approved it for use here in the U.S.
The agency reviewed results from a clinical trial of 111 people using the device along with "appropriate lifestyle therapy" (whatever that means) and compared to a 60-person control group who received lifestyle therapy without the surgically implanted device. Those with the device lost an average of 12.1 percent of their body weight after a year, versus a loss of 3.6 percent of body weight for the control group. Lets put it in the right perspective – someone who is obese at say 275 pounds lost a bit over 33 pounds – still obese in my book.
According to the company, Aspire Bariatrics, the AspireAssist device is intended for obese people at least 22 years of age, who have not been able to lose weight through other approaches, excluding surgery.
By the way, the FDA approval statement did also warn of side effects including "occasional indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea," as well as side effects from the placement (or removal of the tube, including symptoms ranging from sore throats to bleeding and pneumonia, and irritations or conditions around the valve on the outside of the body.
I know it’s tough to lose weight, believe me – I battle with it – and lose most of the time – and for those who have no other choice or health threatening conditions there are proven solutions like bariatric surgery. But opening a hole into your stomach and opening up a spout to drain your lunch is not the weight loss solution – for mind or body.