We’ve heard of some pretty strange methods when it comes to weight loss (tequila diet, anyone?), but this new way of shedding some pounds justtttt may take the cake. While there’s still no magic pill that helps you lose weight quickly, the FDA has approved a new device that seems like something out of sci-fi movie (or horror film, depending on your take). Dubbed AspireAssist, it’s a machine that quite literally removes food from your stomach after meals. Uhhhhhh, say what?
Designed to help those in the obese category rid themselves of unwanted pounds, the device, which requires a doctor to implant a port valve into your actual skin, works when it’s hooked up to a removable tube 20 to 30 minutes post meal. The tube allows food to drain directly from the stomach into a waste receptacle (yep, you stand over the toilet and let it dump in. We just can’t imagine). Water is then pumped through the organs to loosen food before the process is repeated a second time — a 5- to 10-minute shakedown in all.
Though the FDA is only recommending this machine for those with a BMI of 35-55, the CDC clocks 38 percent of Americans with a BMI of 30 or more, meaning there’s a decently sized population that would actually be eligible for this thing.
While side effects seem fairly normal, if unpleasant (indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and port valve leakage, ew!), the main concern here seems to revolve around abuse of usage, specifically that patients could develop an eating disorder similar to bulimia. Some have also criticized the device as being an enabler of unhealthy eating patterns, rather than a solution. As a precaution, the machine will automatically stop after 115 cycles and requires a doctor check-in to restart, but for five to six weeks, patients are left largely unmonitored.
That being said, the mechanism certainly does seem effective for those that use it safely — early tests have seen obese patients lose up to 12 percent of total body weight: an interesting stat indeed. But we can’t help but wonder how patients are getting any nutrients — or even have enough energy to keep going to work, for that matter.
Overall, we’re not entirely sure where we stand on this one. On one hand, we’re all for innovation (yay, science), but on the other, this seems a bit extreme… and quite disturbing. We think we’ll go ahead and stick to our good ol’ tried and true Jennifer Lawrence trainer workouts, thanks!
Would you give this new device a go? Let us know over @BritandCo!
(h/t Cosmopolitan, photos via Getty)