The Next Diet Trend: Suck Food Out of Your Stomach

Aspire BariatricsOh, the phrases running through my head right now. "This'll turn your stomach!" Or: "Eat whatever you want and suck it out later!" What might seem like science fiction is actually already being tested on humans. Dean Kamen, the guy who brought us the Segway, is now developing a device called AspireAssist. Essentially it's a pump for your stomach, so you can vacuum out calories before they hit your system. And, yes, according to Kamen, it is fine to eat whatever you're going to eat. All you need to do is wait an hour (hey, just like swimming!) while the food is broken down into a more liquid form in your stomach. Then just Hoover the stuff out! The developers estimate you can reduce your calorie intake by about 30%. Beta testers of the product have admitted that some food seems to get clogged in the tube -- such as broccoli and steak -- so the company has some tweaks to work on. My take? This is absolutely disgusting, ewh, ick, ewh ... Who the hell thought this will be huge on the market? Presumably you'd need a doctor's approval as it requires a medical procedure to install the tube. I look at bariatric surgery as a form of mutilation, something that should only be used as an absolute last resort. But this ... this tops everything.

Peddling to the Morbidly Obese

OK, so if you're morbidly obese, you've been given a lot of dire threats from your doctors over the years. You're probably downing a lot of pills, and you're desperate -- absolutely desperate -- to lose weight, to not die, to live a more full life.  I get it, I truly, truly get it. This isn't about vanity any more, or being teased, or judged ... this is about living longer, about waking up the next morning. But do we really need this device to be the siren call of redemption? Does this have to be the way we cure obesity in America? There is ZERO behavior modification here. People can still eat more food than they need, and given the ability to remove it later. You know, there is a term for doing this regularly ... it's called an eating disorder! What do you think?  Are you as disgusted as I am? Geez! Lisa

photo credit: Aspire Bariatrics

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.


15 Responses to The Next Diet Trend: Suck Food Out of Your Stomach

  1. Cindy January 8, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    OMG that is the most disgusting thing ever. Why would anyone do that to themselves?

  2. malita January 8, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Stomach stapling – wiring mouth shut…the list goes on, just add this one to the list. You know those people that are always sinking their money into the next best thing that’s going to make them rich, they never end up prospering and are just out of money, but yet they keep falling into the madness. This is the same to me, look for a way to fix my problems without working on my problems.

  3. Lauren January 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm #


  4. Diane January 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    There are no words.

  5. Lisa Johnson January 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    yep, pretty darned gross … L–

  6. Nick January 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Almost heaved when I saw this, your response is perfectly in line with mine! It’s not only disgusting but I think it’s completely immoral! Where the hell has the idea of work gone? I think it’s completely ridiculous that people will soon be able to be lean and eat whatever they want, this ‘something for nothing’ idea really p***es me off, just to say it bluntly! :D

    I hope this thing never goes viral, my faith in humanity has already started to diminish…

  7. Lisa Johnson January 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    lol, Nick, yes that’s quite a response, one thing occurred to me, wearing a sleek little dress won’t exactly work if you’ve got a plastic thingie sticking out of your stomach … THAT’s not sexy.

  8. Rebecca January 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Hey! Do they have one of those for your sinuses? Because sometimes mine get stopped up and a vacuum would really help clear those suckers out!

    Just kidding…seriously…people will go to any lengths to get skinny the easy way. Super frustrating and scary.

  9. TraceyJoy January 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    speechless = 0

  10. Lisa Johnson January 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    OMG Rebecca I’m with you on the sinuses … lol …

  11. JoAnn January 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    What is so disturbing is how this preys on people who are desparate for a solution. When you have tried and repeatedly failed, you’ll look to anything that looks like it will work. Doctors are notorius for giving the bad news without any solution. Mine gave me a website and criticized every effort. Thankfully, I met a sympathetic coach who has helped me lose 95 pounds the old fashioned way–portion control, lots of fruits and vegetables combined with strength training. I have no doubt I’ll lose the remaining 60, but I do wonder where I’d be or what I would tried if I hadn’t met him.

  12. Lisa Johnson January 11, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    JoAnn thanks for much for adding your voice and yes I agree with you on the desperation of people who are struggling with obesity. It’s very real and it happens to the overweight too! :-) Good luck on the rest of your journey it sounds like a great, great story. L–

  13. Jane January 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    There always seems to be morality attached to anything that is related to weight. I can’t bring myself to be disgusted by this approach, because the whole environment around weight and weightloss is disgusting. The author of this article treats patients of this procedure with disgust, and that is shameful. I have lived with an eating disorder and have seen friends nearly die from them in desperate attempts to lose weight and be skinny. Some of these friends were anorexic, but still considered obese. Unlike what most people think, an overweight problem doesn’t always have to do with being unable to stop stuffing your face. This procedure is alarming, but not as alarming as it is to see people simply continue to treat others terribly because of the body they have and the health issues they carry.

    This completely uncompassionate article is only adding to the desperation people have. It isn’t helpful. You’re picking out a medical procedure and complaining about how disgusting it is instead of discussing the underlying problem with these desperate procedures: they are related to mental health. Eating disorders. That has become so fiercely attached to weight and it is terribly ignored. This is beyond an ordinary problem and you are only making it worse. Instead of judging people who turn to surgery to help their problem, why not sit down and listen to their story? You are clearly in no position to try to help their mental health. But you might learn how to not alienate future clients.

    This procedure isn’t so great. But they appear because of desperation that grows because most people treat overweight people like this: Lose weight or be ugly. Lose weight or be considered immoral because they eat too much food. Lose weight or else no one will love you.

  14. cathy January 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I think I would literally throw up if I saw someone with this! Lets ALL pray this is a huge, epic fail like the segway!!! Please Lord!

  15. Lisa Johnson January 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Jane, you clearly aren’t a regular reader or you’d know what you’re saying is quite wrong. I do not and never have judged people by their size. I also have recovered from an eating disorder and am intimately aware of what it’s like to go through that. How does this device address anyone with an eating disorder? It only promotes it. It’s simply a different form of purging and nothing more. You are not teaching the patient how to control their food urges, you’re actually giving them a “get out of jail free card.” I’m sorry, but I strongly disagree with you.

    I am not a proponent in general of bariatric surgery or any surgery really that somehow curtails food intake. I suppose I can be talked into an extreme case here or there where threat of death is imminent, but generally I don’t think maiming the body is the way to go. I think talk therapy, drugs if appropriate, finding good support systems and addressing the problem head on are the best solutions in some combination.

    I think you’re reading this post through your own filter. I appreciate your point of view, I hope I clarified mine.

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