‘AspireAssist’ – Aspire to what?

I think the AspireAssist is probably a terrible idea. I think this because my first reaction was that it was a brilliant idea, & my brilliant ideas are currently not to be trusted, apparently.

This genius contraption by Aspire Bariatrics is a small tube inserted into the stomach, accessed by a handy button on the front of your tummy. Shortly after eating, you attach a little pump & suck out the food & empty it into the toilet. According to their website “Your medical team will help you learn how to fit the AspireAssist into your daily life – so it becomes a part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth.” Just like brushing your teeth! & it’s so discreet you can even use it in public toilets! What a dream, to eat whatever you like & simply purge it away…

Isn’t this bulimia? Bulimia by tube? I know if I had such a device fitted I would be so tempted to binge & purge as it’s practically being medically sanctioned. & without the dangers of vomiting! Why learn to eat healthily & normally when you can just suck it out after! No harm done.

This is the bulimic mindset. After so long of starving myself my brain flipped & survival kicked in. I ate. & ate & ate & ate. Uh oh. Now what. Get rid of it of course! Vomit first the most you can, then once you can get up off the bathroom floor take some laxatives & diet pills, & go walk with a spinning head round the block for a couple of hours, get those calories burnt while you wait for your stomach to explode.

Definitely shouldn’t do that again. But if you can just get rid of it afterwards… If I can just not eat for a week afterwards… If I keep trying to vomit more by drinking more fluids maybe I can just get a bit more out.. (handy hint there Aspire Bariatrics, we’re well ahead of you though)

The crashing disappointment of this grand scheme is that it doesn’t work. Tests have shown only around 30% of calories are removed through purging (whether via fingers down the throat or handy tube, either/or). 70% of a lot is still a lot. & breaking the cycle of bingeing & purging is a pretty epic battle. I’ve never weighed more than when I’ve been in a bulimic phase. It’s not the answer.

Of course the makers of the AspireAssist aren’t suggesting to their patients that they can stuff themselves silly without repercussions. But I really feel it sells the ‘you can have your cake & eat it’ mentality, & attempts to normalise purging as a method of weight control. FDA approved purging! What a brilliant idea.



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