Binge eating disorder in extreme obesity

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Oct;26(10):1398-403. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802081.


Objective: To determine whether extremely obese binge eating disorder (BED) subjects (BED defined by the Eating Disorder Examination) differ from their extremely obese non-BED counterparts in terms of their eating disturbances, psychiatric morbidity and health status.

Design: Prospective clinical comparison of BED and non-BED subjects undergoing gastric bypass surgery (GBP).

Subjects: Thirty seven extremely obese (defined as BMI > or = 40 kg/m(2)) subjects (31 women, six men), aged 22-58 y.

Measurements: Eating Disorder Examination 12th Edition (EDE), Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ), Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (SCID-IV), Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36), and 24 h Feeding Paradigm.

Results: Twenty-five percent of subjects were classified as BED (11% met full and 14% partial BED criteria) and 75% of subjects were classified as non-BED. BED (full and partial) subjects had higher eating disturbance in terms of eating concern and shape concern (as found by the EDE), higher disinhibition (as found by the TFEQ), and they consumed more liquid meal during the 24 h feeding paradigm. No difference was found in psychiatric morbidity between BED and non-BED in terms of DSM-IV Axis I diagnosis. The health status scores of both BED and non-BED subjects were significantly lower than US norms on all subscales of the SF-36, particularly the BED group.

Conclusion: Our findings support the validity of the category of BED within a population of extremely obese individuals before undergoing GBP. BED subjects differed from their non-BED counterparts in that they had a greater disturbance in eating attitudes and behavior, a poorer physical and mental health status, and a suggestion of impaired hunger/satiety control. However, in this population of extremely obese subjects, the stability of BED warrants further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Bulimia / complications
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires