Alterations of gastrointestinal motility in obesity

Jinhong Xing, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


All nutrients are absorbed in the gastrointestinal (GI) system, and GI motility plays a very critical role in the consumption of foods, digestion, and absorption of nutrients. Various segments of the GI tract (esophagus, stomach, and intestines) coordinate in a complex yet precise way to control the process of food consumption, digestion, and absorption of nutrients. GI motility not only regulates the rates at which nutrients are processed and absorbed in the gut but also participates in the control of appetite and satiety. Altered GI motility has been associated with various disease conditions (gastroparesis, etc.) and has been frequently observed in obese patients. The significance of these GI motility alterations in obesity is not fully understood, but they have been considered as potential contributing factors in the development and maintenance of obesity and changed eating behavior. Therapies aimed at regulating GI motility are being actively explored and applied clinically for the management of obese patients. To better understand the pathophysiology of obesity, we systematically reviewed GI motility changes observed in obese conditions. The relationship and pathological significance of these findings, as well as the potential therapies by modification of GI motility, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1723-1732
Number of pages10
JournalObesity research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2004


  • Esophageal motility
  • Gastric accommodation
  • Gastric electrical stimulation
  • Gastric emptying
  • Gastric myoelectrical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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