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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 Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:14AM (#42578999)

    Or at least a marketable, respectable form of bulimia.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:16AM (#42579021) Homepage Journal
    Just not eat all those cheeseburgers in the first place? Hah! Crazy talk, I know!
  • Yes, it is. At least, it's bulimia. I don't see anything respectable at all about surgically altering yourself so you can gorge and still lose weight, and I guess time will tell if it's marketable (although I doubt it'll be even as successful as lap band surgery), but yeah, it's definitely mechanical barfing.

  • Broccoli? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GenieGenieGenie ( 942725 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:21AM (#42579061)
    Why on earth would you want to suck out the broccoli? This gadget needs a fiberscopic camera that will allow you to view the semi-digested morsels and suck out the ones you don't want to keep.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:27AM (#42579101) Journal

    The tube should ameliorate some of the dangerous effects of repeated exposure to gastric acids by the sensitive tissues and teeth of the mouth and throat, so there is that...

  • My Reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jIyajbe ( 662197 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:37AM (#42579173)


    Seriously, EEEWWW.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:47AM (#42579217)

    Oh, so that's why everyone in Auschwitz was so plump and chunky! They were all in "starvation mode" and eating like birds! Now it makes sense! I thought maybe they were just big boned!

  • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:53AM (#42579251) Homepage Journal

    "Recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year..." []

    "There are nearly a billion malnourished people in the world, but all of them could be lifted out of hunger with less than a quarter of the food wasted in Europe and North America. In a globalised food system, where we are all buying food in the same international market place, that means we're taking food out of the mouths of the poor." []

    In this context, a food evacuator for pampered fat people seems like the height of absurdity as if were something taken directly off the page of a Monty Python or Yes Men script.

  • renewable bulimia (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:54AM (#42579267)

    Yes, and energy should somehow be extracted from it and fed back into the grid

  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:00AM (#42579303)

    Wrong question. How many people love eating, don't want to be fat, and think that this could possibly be a good or healthy idea? And want to deal with the disposal and cleanup of the pumped material? I love eating and it would be great to lose 100 pounds, but I know that this isn't safe and is actually counter-productive.

  • Re:The Roman Way (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:01AM (#42579305)

    You can't vomit regularly; you get ulcers, it becomes extremely painful, and it destroys your esophagus and your teeth.

    It's as if nature were trying to tell us something...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:03AM (#42579315)

    Dieting and exercise? For suckers. Bring on the pump.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:15AM (#42579357)

    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.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:16AM (#42579361)

    "There are nearly a billion malnourished people in the world, but all of them could be lifted out of hunger with less than a quarter of the food wasted in Europe and North America"

    No, they couldn't, not unless that food could be transported to them and distributed before it became inedible. In countries with good infrastructure, that's not a problem, but those billion malnourished generally don't live in a place with good air freight service, well-maintained highways, and refrigerated trucking.

    Any solution to global poverty is going to have to largely rely on bootstrapping local production. Despite importing a lot of food, most western nations export a whole lot more - they have sufficient capacity to feed themselves, and trade for variety/seasonality. Getting developing nations to the point of self sufficiency is key - anything else leaves them dependant on the developed world, which will screw them over when a drought/famine/whatever hits, and we have less excess to give.

  • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @02:12AM (#42579615) Homepage

    no awkward situations in the bedroom or airport

    You're kidding, right?

  • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @04:14AM (#42580005) Homepage Journal

    but those billion malnourished generally don't live in a place with good air freight service, well-maintained highways, and refrigerated trucking.

    Agreed, but many of those places have transportation (where it exists) that is configured to remove produce and resources onto boats headed for regions like Europe, North America and increasingly China. As you pointed out, that can also work in reverse WRT food... but I don't believe that is the case for all materials in general.

    As I see it, any country that is not heavily bought-up by globalist Wall St. banks and aligned with NATO would inevitably appear as a threat to the West if they reconfigured their infrastructure to be self-sufficient and more self-serving. Self-sufficiency for an emerging region would necessarily have to stonewall the influences of the global banking system, because the system has a record of opportunistically creating crises which put the land and resources of so many developing countries on sale to Western corporations at fire sale prices. When the financial empire convulses because of mismanagement at its center, its the fringes that are most quickly abandoned because of a lack of familiarity or personal involvement by wealthy investors-- then they are lined up for 'austerity' programs which have much more to do with rent seeking by foreign actors than with self-sufficiency.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @04:49AM (#42580109) Homepage Journal

    Maybe if we stopped subsidized farming, the price of food would go up, and we wouldn't have so many people gorging themselves?

    Face it, as taxpayers, we are paying farmers to produce cheap foods so that more people can afford to be fat, so that we can pay MORE in taxes to take care of our diabetic, heart diseased, obese population.

    To make things worse, in spite of all that cheap food, the food processors replace cheap food stuffs with even cheaper junk like sugar, salt, preservatives, etc, to aggravate our health problems.

    Maybe we need to take a long hard look at the entire food economy.

  • by davesag ( 140186 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @05:27AM (#42580215) Homepage

    This looks to me to be the single most disgusting invention I've ever seen. Surely it's easier to just eat smaller meals rather than gorge, then pump partially digested food out through a pipe through your gut. I guess it tops the Segway as stupidest invention ever.

  • by lxs ( 131946 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @05:47AM (#42580283)

    I'm reading a lot of excuses in your post. It's gut bacteria it's pollution, it's Big Corn, it's stress. I'm not reading anything about taking personal responsibility. Losing weight means running a calorie deficit. This will make you feel bad. The only way to get though that is to get off the notion that you should feel good all the time and volutarily put yourself in a situation where you're hungry and feeling bad. that feeling will pass in a couple of weeks and it will strengthen your willpower.

  • by SpzToid ( 869795 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:38AM (#42580553)

    In my experience, electric dog collars don't work with truly big, mean, motivated dogs. The big dogs just sit on the periphery taking in the tolerable threshold of pain, all the time going grrrrr, grrrrr, grrrr, until the batteries in the collar fail and the big dogs are then free to chase and maul unimpeded.

    This is kind of the thing isn't it?

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @08:47AM (#42580747)

    Oh please, the body is not some kind of magic entity that can ignore the laws of physics. Your body needs energy to function and the calories you consume are that energy. Your metabolism can slow down to some extent, but it's not as drastic as you say. "Starvation mode" is simply what the people who binge in secret tell you. Adjust your caloric intake to under or just at your base metabolism and you will lose weight, your body won't magically start running on hopes and dreams while it stores calories.

    The opposite is true, your body doesn't "burn the extra calories" either, it stores them. That's how you gain weight. The plain fact is, the only way to lose weight is to consume less calories than you burn. No magic hocus pocus, no "starvation mode", no nothing. The more you consume, the more you need to burn. And aside from a few big name athletes, exercise will burn less than your base metabolism anyhow (my base metabolism is at about 1700-1750 calories/day last time I had it measured).

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday January 14, 2013 @11:00AM (#42581627) Homepage

    It seems to me a general truth that people who focus so much on "personal responsibility" and "willpower" are people who are much less interested in solving problems, and much more interested in making themselves feel superior by way of their own good fortune. The line your advocating is equivalent to "Just say no to drugs" or abstinence-only sex education. You're burying your head in the sand.

    It's not like people who are thin and in good shape aren't generally walking around hungry, feeling bad. People who are thin and healthy aren't starving themselves, or at least they shouldn't be. If you're walking around hungry and feeling bad, you're doing it wrong.

    And aside from the list of factors that bzipitidoo gave, your talk about willpower ignored a pretty important factor: the phenomenon of "willpower" is a biological activity that has its limits. There have been a few studies that suggest that your decision-making process and ability to exercise self-control is dependent on blood sugar levels, which creates a nice little catch-22 for dieters. You don't eat, your blood sugar drops, your self-control weakens. I good way to reinforce your self-control is to have a snack to boost your blood sugar levels, but then you'd be breaking your diet.

    Anyway, it's not about making excuses. It's about understanding the nature of the problem. I'm skinny, but it's not a function of discipline, self-control, or moral superiority. I eat whatever I want, as much as I want, and somehow I'm still skinny. Lucky me. I don't go around trying to pretend I'm some kind of hero, and I don't belittle people who are less lucky, who want to understand why.

  • by AwesomeMcgee ( 2437070 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @11:51AM (#42582065)
    Just a note, my sister in law eats less than me and is far more active, but was extremely overweight (she was obese since childhood) so doctors finally decided she needed a gastric bypass.

    I presume that's what you're talking about when you refer to the surgically altering yourself so you can gorge. I have since learned some interesting things, for instance: she can't more than 3oz of anything at a time for the rest of her life. This includes water so she gets 3oz of sustenance every 3 or 4 hours (I don't remember the time period) to the point that she has been suffering migraines from dehydration because the small amount she's intaking is simply not allowing for enough water and food, if she has more water rather than food she finds herself feeling very weak from malnourishment (the doctors tell her both the dehydration and weakness are completely common as her body adjusts).

    Just sharing this because from what I've learned, it turns out this surgery doesn't allow one to just gorge themselves and is anything but an easy weight loss solution, effective but definitely not easy. Plus she had to diet even more and exercise for 6 or 9 months leading up to the surgery before they would even do it, where the result is a permanent diet for the rest of her life. It'll be worth it for her and her family to have her healthier but as I said, this is no miracle cure with no consequences.
  • by Rhacman ( 1528815 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @12:55PM (#42582703)
    The slogan "willpower is not enough" needs to go. Willpower is not enough to safely stop a speeding train or divert a tornado. Willpower _is_ enough to put down a fork. Whether a person presently has enough willpower to do so is another question but of the many challenges in life that fundamentally cannot be met by willpower alone, dieting is not one of them.

    If we must make a machine or a pill to solve the problem of obesity then make a pill to increase willpower (or perhaps a magic ring? jk). Even without pills or magic, willpower can be improved upon. I argue that we rephrase the discussion: Willpower is enough to solve this problem, how can we each obtain the willpower to overcome it?

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"