Every once and a while there is a health news story that comes across your path that makes you stop and really shake your head. This month, there was a story that went beyond that and it is making health freedom activists across North America irate.
On June 22, 2016, the FDA approved a new weight-loss device which pumps food from the stomach before it is digested, allowing patients to overeat without gaining any weight. Called the Aspire Assist, the device removes 30% of stomach contents by means of a pump and tube assembly that have to be inserted surgically. While the devisers of this contraption claim that it promotes aspiration therapy – a handy euphemism for what is essentially assisted bulimia. In fact, there is zero indication that the device will not trigger existing eating disorders or spurn new ones in those desperate to lose weight.
The FDA has also been quick to downplay the suggestion that the device promotes assisted bulimia, claiming that the therapy itself helps patients eat less in the long term and that it doesn’t mean that patients can simply binge and purge whenever they like because the food has to be both small and liquid enough to get through the tube.
There are two major problems with the approval of this device south of the border: first of all, since when do surgically implanted purging devices replace diet, exercise and mental health counselling for the severely obese? This doesn’t address the root causes of obesity at all, including mental health disorders, depression, endocrine imbalances and a host of other contributing and complex factors that cause people to gain large amounts of weight over time.
The other issue is an ethical one. Not only is it questionable that the FDA would approve an item for sale like this, but why is that North American health bureaucracies are approving such items while blocking the approval of safe and natural health products like Vitamin D3 supplements over 1000IU or herbal combinations? If you stop and think about the fact that terrible devices like Aspire Assist are both patentable and available for sale through the allopathic medical industry, and that this industry profits off of putting off root cause cures, then it makes sense that such blatant health contradictions would be the norm: that products which have questionable safety and ethical implications would be approved before products which are both safe and effective. It’s the unfortunate reality of the world we live in that the fight for health freedom (and freedom from harm-promoting so-called health devices such as this) will continue for a very long time.