It’s a quick-fix that has critics horrified: a weight loss pump that sucks food straight from the user’s belly before the body can fully digest it.

The unusual device has been trialed on 24 obese patients and now the company Aspire Bariatrics has applied for a patent on the unusual device in partnership with inventor Dean Kamen. The company claims that the patients lost an average of 49 per cent of their excess weight during the first year of using the system.

Allowing dieters to eat anything they want, the system stops the body digesting a third of each meal by pumping it out of the stomach through a tube inserted in the abdomen. It’s seen as an alternative to other procedures such as gastric bypass surgery, which discourages people from overeating by dividing the stomach in two pouches.

According to a statement from the company: ‘The AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System works by reducing the calories absorbed by the body. After eating, food travels to the stomach immediately, where it is temporarily stored and the digestion process begins.

'Over the first hour after a meal, the stomach begins breaking down the food, and then passes the food on to the intestines, where calories are absorbed.

'The AspireAssist allows patients to remove about 30 per cent of the food from the stomach before the calories are absorbed into the body, causing weight loss.'

However, are setbacks to the weight loss gadget: it struggles to break up large foods. One patient reported the pump became 'clogged' and had to avoid eating cauliflower, brocolli, Chinese food, snow peas, pretzels, chips and steak.

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