Objective: Aim of this study was the assessment of the prevalence of eating disorders, and of eating disorder symptoms, in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, compared to non-diabetic subjects.
Design: Three samples of individuals were studied: a series of 156 (76 male, 80 female) overweight and obese type 2 diabetic patients, aged 30-65 y, with a body mass index (BMI)>28 kg/m(2) (DM); a series of 192 (20 male, 172 female) obese (BMI>30 kg/m(2)) non-diabetic patients aged 30-65 y seeking treatment for weight loss (OC); and a non-clinical sample of 48 (22 male, 26 female) obese (BMI>30 kg/m(2)) subjects aged 30-65 y selected from the lists of two general practices (OP). Eating behavior was assessed using the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE 12.0D).
Results: The prevalence of Binge Eating Disorder was lower than 5% in all the three samples. Median EDE scores in females were significantly higher in OC (3.0) and OP (3.4) than in DM (1.7), while diabetic patients showed higher scores on Restraint than both non-diabetic samples. Among diabetic patients, a significant correlation of EDE scores with HbA(1)c was observed.
Conclusions: Type 2 diabetes is unlikely to induce relevant eating disturbances in obese patients, apart from an increase in restraint. Abnormalities of eating attitudes and behavior are associated with an impairment of metabolic control.