I've noticed that overweight people tend to breathe harder than other people. Presumably this is because they have to
get more oxygen/dispose of more CO2 due to having more flesh, and also because they have to move more flesh to
expand and contract their lungs. It occurred to me that this heavy breathing
must consume more energy in the diaphragm
than normal breathing. It is also known that increased exercise can help fat people stop being fat. However, they don't
seem to get enough exercise due to their natural breathing difficultyif they did, it would serve as negative feedback,
and regulate fatness to a certain maximum level.
I propose a trachea implant to make breathing more difficult. It consists of a silicone-covered stent-like structure with an
adjustable sphincter in the middle. Airflow is made more difficult by the sphincter, causing the diaphragm to have to
work harder to breathe the same amount of air, which is exercise.
The sphincter is controlled by some mechanism (probably a battery-powered electronic device that can be controlled by
a radio signal from outside the body) to modulate breathing difficulty. This is so that the breathing difficulty is not always
high, because presumably having to breathe extra hard all the time is bad for the lungs, so we'll give them a rest
periodically. Also, during actual exercise, it would be good to make breathing as easy as possible.
In the event of any kind of failuresignal loss, battery exhaustion, circuit problem, etc.it should open as wide as
possible to avoid potentially endangering the user in case they need to breathe a great volume for some reason.
If the user inhales some obstructive object, then it can detect this with some kind of sensor and open wide to avoid
presenting a small hole that's more easily obstructed. (Perhaps it should open only enough to enable the patient to inhale
slowly while holding the foreign object in place, so it doesn't get inhaled past the implant, where it would be more
difficult to remove/cough out.)
When the battery needs replacement (probably every few months), it's a simple non-surgical procedure to extract and
replace the implant.