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Science Idle Technology

Dean Kamen Invents Stomach Pump For Dieters 483

You may soon have another option to lose weight other than dieting and exercise thanks to Dean Kamen. The inventor has designed a pump that can suck the cheeseburgers out of your stomach and replace it with water. From the article: "The pump was invented by Dean Kamen, the same man who brought you the Segway, and perhaps more fittingly, a breakthrough dialysis machine. This pump works by routing a tube directly into the user's stomach and then sucking out some of the gooey, masticated goodness. The user then squeezes a little plastic bag to replace that volume of stomach-stew with water. Sounds great, right? There are some catches though. It hasn't been approved by the FDA yet, and some of the users in the tests had problems with certain foods like 'cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese food, stir fry, snow peas, pretzels, chips, and steak.' Oh, also there's a tube going into your stomach that you use to pump unpuked vomit into the toilet. Participants in trial studies did manage to lose about half of their excess weight this way, around 45 pounds on average, so apparently it works."
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Dean Kamen Invents Stomach Pump For Dieters

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  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:34AM (#42579143) Homepage

    The difference is that bulimia is a mental disorder first and foremost. People go in cycles of bulimia and anorexia, they often aren't actually fat, and they'll usually have binges of eating before vomiting. On top of that, they'll rarely actually say anything to anyone.

    I can't see this not being supervised by a doctor, considering the tubes going in your body and all that. It's not the kind of thing you can do in your kitchen. It'll come with restrictions attached and a strict diet, if anything, so that people can get the tubes removed as soon as possible.

  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:52AM (#42579245)
    When you are in 'starvation mode', your body saves every calorie it gets so that it can be burned later. This is an evolutionay trait from when humans went for long periods between meals. You might not get to chase down and successfully kill another deer for months.

    When your body has consistent meals for about thirty days or so, your body 'learns' that it is now 'okay' to begin burning extra calories again.

  • by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:56AM (#42579277)
    So has this guy effectively created a medical device?? And is he testing it out on human subjects illegally??
    And I agree with those who wrote earlier that this is a "mechanical barf-o-matic" without sticking your finger down your throat. So what is he claiming for the benefits??
    bene 1: no acid reflux uppa your egophagus?
    bene 2: no acid stains on your teeth and palate?
    bene 3: barf yourself without the unpleasant taste coming through your mouth?
    bene 4: no need to stick a finger down your throat
    But what about the fucking risks?
    risk 1: take a chance of sticking the tube down your lungs! Die from asphyxiation! (what, you think you're going to do this with assistance and people around, or shamefully hidden away like those girls barfing in the girls' room at school after lunch... You know that we can hear you barfing in there, right?)
    risk 2: while you pull the tube back out, couldn't the acidic vomitola in the tube keep dripping down and fall into your trachea and lungs? Voila! Acid burns in the trachea and lungs! Aspiration pneumonia!!
    risk 3: you're replacing all the good stuff in your stomach with water!! Do you want to know what happens when you fuck around with your precious bodily fluids?? Look at Bulimia [] and water intoxication []: you get arrhtythmias, hypokalemia, comas and a slow painful death: Terri Schiavo []. risk 4: []
    risk 5: []
    risk 6: []
    risk 7: []
    Fuck the inventor of this stupidity and fuck this craziness of trying to make binge-purge socially acceptable. Fuck this madness of making purging socialy necessary or acceptable. Wasn't Dean Kamen the genius behind "Ginger"? : A code name for the Segway PT used before its release on December 3, 2001 (see last entry at [] ). Madness of the morons gone wild.
  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:48AM (#42579517) Journal

    A pithy answer like "Eat less and exercise" obviously doesn't cut it. That's like the joke about how to put a giraffe in a refrigerator. You open the refrigerator, put the giraffe in, and close the door.

    Some findings and facts that have received some publicity lately:

    1. Gut microbes adapt to the food you eat, so that simple calorie counting is not accurate. Fat people can gain weight on less food, because their gut microbes are more efficient.
    2. Sleep deprivation is another cause of weight gain.
    3. Chemicals such as Bisphenol A mimic hormones. Many other plastics are also problematic. They get into our bodies because we use them for food containers and linings. Once in the body, they screw with our metabolism. One common effect is weight gain.
    4. The food industry's first priority is not our health, it's their bottom line. Most of us are also suckers for this, often measuring the value of food solely by price. It would be expecting too much to hope that the cheapest food is reasonably healthy, and of course it isn't. Breakthroughs that extend the shelf life of fresh food cheaply would be huge.

    There are a bunch of other lifestyle factors that can cause weight problems: too much sitting, pollution, artificial lighting, stress, and disease. The obesity epidemic is not going to be solved with a "Just Say No" campaign to cheeseburgers.

  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:50AM (#42579525)

    I assume you have never been intubated (even by a real doctor) before? They do it for most surgeries (to the trachea, not stomach) and most people have a minor sore throat afterwards. Do that yourself (all the way down to your stomach, even worse) every day and you will mess up your esophagus, larynx, of some other structure in your throat a lot faster than gastric acids would.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Monday January 14, 2013 @04:44AM (#42580101) Homepage Journal

    Weight loss surgery is not about wanting to lose weight with no effort or eat as much as you like. That is a common misconception that is hard to explain to people who don't struggle to control their weight.

    Willpower is not enough for a lot of people. Personally I suffer from both arthritis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I am just about managing to keep my current weight, but could stand to loose 20kg or more. It isn't a case of being lazy, or weak, or stuffing my face with McShit all day. I'm way off the point where I would qualify for surgery but I can completely understand why it is necessary for some people.

  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @05:08AM (#42580149)

    How many people are there in the US who love eating but don't want to be fat? Probably not many I guess.

    Not many? More like just about everyone.

    Sarcasm is implied unless indicated otherwise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @05:11AM (#42580161)

    The difference is that bulimia is a mental disorder first and foremost.

    Yes, it explains WHY you feel the need to shovel way too much garbage into your gullet and then puke it back out.

    People go in cycles of bulimia and anorexia

    Sometimes. The difference is that an Anorexic simply doesn't eat because they perceive themselves as already being fat. A bulimic knows how much they weigh, whether fat or thin, but can't stop gobbling food and so they force themselves to hork it all back up. The two conditions are similar, both are mental, but the side effects are usually the same- extremely underweight and/or malnurished.

    But you still haven't explained how there's any difference between using your finger to puke after stuffing your craw as compared to using a surgical pump to do the same damn thing. I have no idea why anybody would ever invent this type of device, it doesn't seem to serve any medical purpose. All it does is enable them to binge and purge.

  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @05:16AM (#42580181)

    This is limited intake alone.

    The research i've read says that you grow additional fat cells when your intake exceeds your expenditure, and your fat cells empty when your expenditure exceeds your intake. Empty fat cells scream at your brain to eat to fill them up again, making it easy to lose a bit of weight but difficult to keep it off. The article I read wasn't clear on how long empty fat cells stay empty before they are eliminated, but i don't think it was particularly fast.

    I'm not sure if the article (can't find it anymore) was quackery or actually backed by proper research but it seemed a reasonable explanation for why surgery (cutting out fat from the body) becomes the only option for really obese people. Obviously if they had the self control to lose weight they probably wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

    Stomach stapling would reduce the ability to eat but leave the person in the hell of wanting to eat without being able to. This new invention might be a better solution, although I think that the act of eating primes the body for the nutrients about to be delivered, and messing with that (eg removing the foot before it hits the intestines) might not be a particularly good long term solution...

  • by pev ( 2186 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @06:14AM (#42580349) Homepage

    People go in cycles of bulimia and anorexia

    Not true. I've had bulimia for many years and not told anyone about it. I'm overweight by about 15Kg and tubby but not your typical fatty. I've certainly never had anorexia or even been close.

    Yes I know it's ironic, "Hi internet." The geek psyche is weird isn't it? It seems less concerning to me to disclose publicly what I guess is a fucked medical problem in a public forum than it is to let someone make an incorrect comment on slashdot. I think XKCD nailed it with :

  • by Slartibartfast ( 3395 ) <ken @ j> on Monday January 14, 2013 @08:58AM (#42580795) Homepage Journal

    Except, well... while I do own a Segway -- employees get what comes to a 50% discount, and in November of '08, it really, really looked like they were about to go belly-up; figured I'd get one while I still could -- I admit that the bike argument is a decent one. I really do enjoy riding Segways (or "PT's" -- personal transporters -- since Segway(tm) refers to the company, and not their product), but there are many drawbacks. Personally, I think they are freaking ideal for sightseeing. The best thing ever. As someone who'd ridden them for years, it wasn't until I'd gone on a sightseeing trip that I realized how awesome they can be, when used for their intended niche. Outside of that niche? Maybe not so much...

    Oh. And Dean likely didn't "invent" the pump, no more than he "invented" the Segway. (The insulin pump is all his, though.) What Dean truly excels at is putting a bunch of relatively inexpensive engineers in a big mill building, and then promoting himself on what they produce.

  • by fractoid ( 1076465 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @09:26AM (#42580931) Homepage
    No, the body doesn't NEED calories. It WANTS them because we've evolved to fatten up when food is plentiful so that we don't starve when food is scarce. The nasty side effect is that when food is always plentiful, and we don't have the discipline to consciously manage our energy intake to sustain a healthy weight, then we blimp up.
    Agreed, though, that people are still going to feel hungry after eating an entire McDonalds and then barfing it up again.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"