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July 1964

The Interpretation of Gastric Motility: I. Apparent Bias in the Reports of Hunger by Obese Persons

Author Affiliations

Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Stunkard). Resident in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Koch).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(1):74-82. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720250076010

This paper describes the correlation between the presence of gastric motility and reports of hunger in four groups of persons: obese and nonobese men and women. Current clinical conceptions of hunger are based on reports that the experience of hunger occurs primarily during contractions of the empty stomach. We were therefore surprised to find that a number of obese women showed an apparent "denial of hunger" in the presence of gastric motility.15 An extension of this study to men, using an improved method of data analysis, reveals that denial of hunger is a special case of a more general bias of obese subjects in associating hunger with gastric motility. Obese persons seem particularly prone to one extreme or the other, with women tending to denial of hunger and men to "exaggeration of hunger."


The female subjects were 17 obese and 18 non

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