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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Feb;63(2):170-3.

Reduced stomach capacity in obese subjects after dieting.

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Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10025, USA.


The objective of the study was to assess the change in gastric capacity of obese subjects consuming a hypoenergetic diet. Otherwise healthy, obese subjects participated in a prospective controlled study as hospital outpatients. Fourteen (11 females, 3 males) subjects were assigned to the diet group and 9 (7 females, 2 males) were assigned to the control group. Subjects in the diet group were provided a 2508-kJ/d(600 kcal/d) formula diet for 4 wk. Subjects in the control group ate ad libitum for 4 wk. Gastric capacity was determined before the study and 4 wk later by oral insertion of a latex gastric balloon after an overnight fast. The balloon was infused with water at a rate of 100 mL/min, with pauses for measuring intragastric pressure, until no further distension was tolerated. Two indexes for estimating gastric capacity were used based on subjective and objective criteria: 1) the maximal volume that could be tolerated, and 2) the volume required to produce a rise in water pressure of 5 cm. Subjects in the diet group, who lost a mean of 9.1 kg, showed a 27% reduction in gastric capacity based on the first index (P = 0.004) and a 36% reduction based on the second index (P = 0.006). For the control subjects, gastric capacity did not change significantly with use of either index. The results demonstrate a reduction in gastric capacity in obese subjects after a restricted diet.

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