Will the AspireAssist Diet Device Create Eating Disorders?

Updated on December 6, 2017
veganfitspiration profile image

Amy is a Colorado native and nutrition professor. She holds both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in the field of nutrition.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one-third (36.5%) of US adults are obese. These statistics have continued to trend up in recent years. Obesity has been labeled a chronic disease by the American Medical Society and despite more prevalent nutrition education, community programs, hospital-supervised weight loss programs and surgical options; nothing seems to stop the trend. Researchers and entrepreneurs have high interest in discovering or creating the billion-dollar product or idea that can transform the health epidemic of obesity. Most recently a new device patented as the AspireAssist is the latest to make its way to healthcare consumers.

In June 2016, the FDA approved a new weight loss device. The device is made up of a pump attached to a hose that is surgically implanted into a patient’s stomach. This device functions by draining a portion of the stomach’s food content through the hose approximately 20-30 minutes after a meal. Approximately 30 percent of the calories consumed at the meal are then discarded.

Patients must meet these three criteria to be eligible for the device:

  • At least 22 years of age
  • Obese with a BMI of 35-55
  • Not been able to lose weight through other approaches, excluding surgery

Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Procedure Like?

Surgeons place the device by inserting a tube into the stomach with an endoscope via an abdominal incision. A port valve is then placed flush with the abdominal skin and connected to the tube. This port valve stays in place permanently for easy access.

  • Is it Messy?

Once the stomach valve is opened it takes approximately 5-10 minutes to drain the food matter out. Makers of this device recommend emptying the food matter into the toilet. It is important to consider that once food begins to digest in the stomach it is intermingled with stomach acids and may smell a bit like vomit.

  • Can You Have This Device Removed?

According to the manufacturers of the AspireAssist, patients can have their device removed once they reach their weight loss goals (or if they are unhappy with it for other reasons). It is recommended that patient’s stop using the device to evacuate food for at least three months to determine if they can maintain their weight loss without it.

  • What Have The Results Been Like?

The FDA looked at a clinical trial of 111 patients who used this device and compared them to 60 control patients. After one year, the patients using the device lost 12.1% of their total body weight; compared to a 3.6% loss by the control group. The study also correlated the weight loss with small improvements in diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and overall quality of life.

  • Is it Safe?

Physicians, registered dietitians, and healthcare professionals are listing many red flags regarding this device. Firstly, it is hard to not draw comparisons to bulimia. Bulimia is defined as the cycle of binging and then compensatory behavior such as self-induced vomiting. Secondly, there are concerns that this device could alter patient's relationships with food psychologically. Alterations such as:

  • Increased intake at a meal with the knowledge they are evacuating 30% of it later
  • Decrease the likelihood of selecting healthy foods at mealtime
  • Frequent evacuations (more than the 3X recommend daily by the manufacturer)

Thirdly, nutritionists are concerned about the nutrition implications of flushing out approximately 30% of the food you eat. Food is not just composed of calories (carbohydrates, protein, fat). What if the contents the patient is flushing out are some of the only sources of key nutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) they would consume that day, opening the door to deficiencies?

According to Dr. William Maisel, deputy director for science and chief scientist in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, “Patient’s 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”.

  • What Does This Device Cost?

According to consumers it averages $8,000-$13,000 dependent on the physician placing it. Additionally, insurance companies do not cover this procedure yet.

Would You Ever Consider Getting This Device Placed?

See results
Source

This Video Shows How the Procedure Works

Conclusion

While obesity continues to be a growing problem, the physical, psychological, and financial concerns with this device may be enough to keep many consumers away. It has also not been on the market long enough to see many of the long-term results patient’s will have. Still, despite all the concerns with this product, this may be just what some patients are looking for.


References:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/releases/released201605.htm

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm506625.htm

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/bulimia-nervosa

Forssell H, Norén E., Endoscopy. 2015 Jan;47(1):68-71. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1378097

Sullivan S, Stein R, Jonnalagadda S, Mullady D, Edmundowicz S., Gastroenterology. 2013 Dec;145(6):1245-52

© 2016 Amy

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Cabella77 

      10 months ago

      THat device sounds messed up. Is that what our society is coming to?!?

    • veganfitspiration profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy 

      21 months ago from Colorado Springs

      Hello Jannea,

      I would have to agree that it is not as invasive surgically as some of the alternatives out there. I wish you the best!!

    • profile image

      Jannea_Journey 

      21 months ago

      Hello,

      I have discussed this option with my doctor. It seems like a last resort but the statistics show that it is successful. Not surgically changing your stomach and intestine makes it a better option than gastric bypass....

    • veganfitspiration profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy 

      23 months ago from Colorado Springs

      Hi David,

      I would agree that the concept goes against all logic but people are desperate for a weight loss solution. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Davidjenkins21 

      23 months ago

      I think the idea behind this is kinda sick but if it is actually helping people, what can I say? Good read

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)