While it is clear in the media that most of the world is slowly becoming more morbidly obese, the best solution to our problems is complex. Mostly due to the fact that everyone is different, so no one solution can fix everyone’s problem. But this new invention, straight from the inventor of the Segway, is most likely not the way to do things. Instead of a new diet pill, or exercise machine, Dean Kamen decided that we should eat our cake but not have it too, in the most literal sense possible. In a nutshell, Kamen invented the fat person’s portable stomach pump. With this invention, one can enjoy all of the tasty deliciousness of whatever horrible junk food they desire without worrying about all of the excessive calories. It’s as simple as eating, and then pumping the chewed contents out of the stomach through the surgically-implanted tube. The contents empties into a toilet or trash can (the former is preferred, as their website only mentions a toilet, but whose stopping one from doing it in a trash can?), and then the empty space is replaced with water injected from the machine back into the stomach.
The company touting the product, Aspire Bariatrics, claims on their homepage that their product, referred to as the AspireAssist, “…allows patients to remove about 30% of the food from the stomach before the calories are absorbed into the body, causing weight loss.” So while some of the food is retained, the clinical trials so far have found that most patients lose “…on average, over 20 kgs (45 lbs) in the first year”. While their website claims that the most common side effects are “…abdominal discomfort and constipation/diarrhea. Other less likely risks include infection, anemia, and buried bumper syndrome”, Popular Science noted that in at least one trial, the AspireAssist had problems with sucking out “cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese food, stir fry, snow peas, pretzels, chips, and steak”. In short, most of what Americans like to eat seems to make the process even more complicated. Oh, that little side effect mentioned above, ‘buried bumper syndrome’, means that the tube going into the stomach is overgrown by the inner lining of the stomach, since it's unnatural to leave a tube in one's stomach for an extended amount of time.
Luckily this product has not been approved by the FDA and is still in the clinical trial mode. Perhaps somebody will realize that we are just going above and beyond trying to circumvent traditional diet and exercise before it hits the commercial market. This writer has a better idea: why not make this device available only to those who are so obese they cannot do anything but lay in bed? Why not make access to healthier foods and gyms easier for everyone? Everyone knows of community centers, but why not update them, increase their sizes, keep the admission low? Why not give us tax incentives to have a gym membership or for buying only organic (or other healthy alternatives)?
Sure these all might sound like good ideas on paper and possibly improbable in reality, but it’s a much better idea rather than just having a machine pump out food from one who already chose bad decisions, and is enabling them to continue onto their path of self-destruction. It’s a band-aid on the problem rather than an actual fix; and it comes from people who are not willing to change their ways in order to do what they should be doing.