The Aspire Assist Lets You Drain Food Out Of Your Stomach To Avoid Gaining Weight
People have been looking for easy ways to control their weight for a long time, but now there's a device to help you lose weight in the most straightforward but gross manner possible. The Aspire Assist lets you literally drain food out of your stomach to avoid gaining weight (via Boing Boing), and when your calories go straight into the toilet, they can't go straight to your thighs, right? To be fair, the Aspire Assist is a legitimate medical product with some completely warranted use cases. But it's easy to see why the thought of a stomach-to-toilet food drain to avoid the hard work of being healthy might concern people and conjure up mental images of some looming dystopian future.
The Aspire Assist is pretty simple – it basically involves placing a tube between the patient's stomach and the surface of her abdominal skin, where a plastic "Skin-Port" valve provides access to the stomach's contents. Shortly after a meal, Assist patients can visit the bathroom and use an additional external tube to "aspirate" the contents of their stomach into the toilet, removing about 30% of what they've eaten before it can be digested. The Assist is meant to be used in conjunction with other weight loss support, like an online educational program, so that the patient can eventually reduce how often she needs to aspirate and maybe have the device removed altogether.
However, the Aspire Assist's advantages are also what make people like Stephen Colbert concerned that it might be overused. As he joked in a recent Late Show segment, "All I ask is that there's a way to take off the pounds without exercising, or changing what I eat, or how much of it I eat... Other than that I am willing to do anything." If you honestly need medical assistance losing weight, then the fact that Aspire can be quickly, safely, and relatively inexpensively installed is great (and it helps that it's reversible, too). But these same features may mean that more than just people who actually need the Assist might want to get it. Doctors can't really be counted upon to resist pressure from mostly healthy, wealthy patients to refuse giving them basically unnecessary procedures (and cosmetic medicine is obviously a thing too).
Fortunately, the Aspire Assist is gross enough that hopefully that turns off everyone who's just looking for a quick fix to their minor weight problem, or an easy way to lose a few without actually improving their habits in general. Practicing willpower is essential to leading a healthy and happy life, and avoiding having to exert any self-control at the dinner table won't help you in the long run if you can't get a hold of yourself in other domains of your life too.
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