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Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Oct;56(4):656-61.

Gastric capacity, gastric emptying, and test-meal intake in normal and bulimic women.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY 10025.


The role of the stomach in regulating appetite in bulimia nervosa was examined. Subjects were nine normal and nine bulimic women of similar age, height, and weight. Gastric capacity was estimated by filling a balloon in the stomach. The mean stomach capacity of bulimic subjects was significantly larger than that of normal subjects, as revealed by the larger balloon volume tolerated (P less than 0.01) and by the larger volume needed to produce a 5 cm H2O increase in intragastric pressure (P = 0.07). The intake of a liquid meal was also significantly larger for the bulimic subjects. Gastric-emptying rate of a liquid meal was significantly delayed in the bulimic subjects during the initial 5-15 min. In all subjects, test-meal intake correlated significantly with gastric capacity (r = 0.53). In the bulimic subjects, self-reported binge intake (J) also correlated significantly with gastric capacity (r = 0.75). Binge eating in bulimic subjects may enlarge gastric capacity, which could then promote even larger binges through positive feedback.

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