Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Binge Eating Boosts Gastric Capacity, Initiating Cycle. (A Circular Process)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Binge Eating Boosts Gastric Capacity, Initiating Cycle. (A Circular Process)

Article excerpt

BOSTON -- Binge eating may result in a significant increase in gastric capacity, perhaps initiating a cycle that perpetuates bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, Allan Geliebter, Ph.D., said at a meeting of the Academy for Eating Disorders.

"It looks like the stomach has a mind of its own," said Dr. Geliebter of the Obesity Research Center at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York.

Dr. Geliebter described a series of studies designed to assess the gastric capacity of normal-weight and obese individuals and those with eating disorders. In one, a balloon was lowered into the stomach and inflated until the point of maximum discomfort or a pressure rise of 5 cm/[H.sub.2]O. Obese individuals could tolerate a much larger volume than those of normal weight, suggesting increased gastric capacity.

A comparable increase in gastric capacity was observed in normal-weight bulimic subjects, he said.

Findings were similar when subjects were instructed to consume a liquid or a normal meal until they felt "extremely" full.

Bulimic individuals consumed significantly more than controls, and there was a strong correlation between the size of the test meal consumed and gastric capacity as determined by balloon inflation.

The size of a typical binge (based on food records and recall) also closely correlated with gastric size, he said.

The findings were similar in individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED): Gastric capacity was greater than in normal controls (by both subjective and objective criteria) and was associated with the lifetime number of binges. …

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