New research has shown that there is a significant reduction in stomach capacity when someone reduces food intake.
However, stomach capacity can also be increased by someone who eats more, which has implications for someone facing a big Thanksgiving dinner.
The research involved obese people on a formula diet of six hundred calories a day, about five cups of formula a day.
After one month, there was a pretty dramatic change, a 30 percent reduction in capacity. The control group of people who were not dieting showed no change.
The research did not assess the size of the stomach itself, which is difficult to measure, but its capacity.
This was done by filling an empty balloon placed in the stomach and measuring changes in pressure. The smaller the capacity of the stomach, the bigger the rise in pressure.
There was also a subjective change in feelings of fullness, with the dieters reporting they felt full much earlier in the distention of the balloon.
In the opposite direction, in bulimics who binge, stomach capacity is markedly increased, and obese subjects have a much larger capacity than normal-weight subjects.