How much food can our stomachs hold?
Every time I see a food eating competition, I wonder how in the world can any human eat that much and that fast?
Marc Levine, the chief of gastrointestinal radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, must have wondered the same thing. Marc decided to study the stomachs of food eating contestants.
He found out that a competitive eater’s stomach works more like an expanding balloon.
In order to do a study to solve this mystery, Marc recruited a professional eater.
Marc had him compete with a non-competitor in a race to see who could eat the most hotdogs.
He watched the inside of their stomachs with an x-ray machine to compare the two.
He noticed something odd about the different stomachs.
Normally, our stomachs make a muscular contraction called peristalsis that helps move food through the body.
The competitive eater showed no muscular contraction.
The regular guy stopped eating after seven dogs and could not eat another bite.
The other guy that ate 36 hot dogs in just ten minutes. Finally, Marc asked him to stop.
HIs stomach had adapted and was able to expand like a balloon.
The craziest thing about it is, he still did not feel full.
Experts still do not understand how this is possible.