A new weight loss device has been approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The device, created by AspireAssist, pumps food out of a person's stomach after they eat a meal and into the toilet.
Critics have called the device "assisted bulimia," but in a statement the FDA writes the "device should not be used on patients with eating disorders" but is to be used for short durations in people who are moderately overweight.
The device is intended for people 22 and older who are obese and who have not had success with non-surgical weight-loss methods.
"The AspireAssist approach helps provide effective control of calorie absorption, which is a key principle of weight management therapy," William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for science and chief scientist in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement from the FDA. "Patients need to be regularly monitored by their health care provider and should follow a lifestyle program to help them develop healthier eating habits and reduce their calorie intake."
The device is placed when a doctor makes a small incision and inserts a tube in the stomach with an endoscope. A disk-shaped port valve lays outside the body and is connected to the tube. About 30 minutes after eating, the person attaches an external connector to the port and opens the valve to drain the contents. The device will remove approximately 30 percent of the calories consumed.
In a one year clinical trial patients using AspireAssist lost an average of 12.1 percent of their total body weight.
Side effects related to use of the device include occasional indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. Patients will also require frequent monitoring by a health care provider.
See how the device works below:
The obesity problem in America: