By Milyka McCutcheon
Produced for online by Emily Halverson
A new weight loss device is being considered as a potential solution for obesity in Australia.
Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital’s leading gastroenterologist Matthew Remedio has labelled the device as “medical bulimia.”
The device consists of a thin tube implanted in the stomach, which connects to an outside drain on the skin of the abdomen.
The system removes 30 per cent of food in the stomach before calories can be absorbed; roughly 20 minutes after a meal is eaten.
Australian Preventative Partnership Centre at the Sax Institute’s senior advisor, Professor Amanda Lee, says obesity is of growing concern in Australia.
“About 70 per cent of men, 56 per cent of women and a quarter of all children already are overweight or obese.”
Professor Lee questioned whether the weight loss device is the best solution, saying such a device was too individualised for the scope of the obesity epidemic.
“When we’ve got an enormous population health problem like this, we need to find population-level solutions.”
There was also concern the procedure would generally not promote good health.
“Given that less than four per cent of Australians are eating enough of the healthy food that protects our body from obesity, diabetes and heart disease… and some forms of cancers too, it does seem very extreme to go to the lengths of flushing food from the body,” she said.
“Food is there for our nourishment and sustenance; it’s not something just to be flushed from our body.”
The device is on its way to the mainstream medical market in Australia and already used in the US.