Laboratory studies of binge eating disorder

Int J Eat Disord. 2003:34 Suppl:S30-8. doi: 10.1002/eat.10203.


Introduction: Because of questions about the accuracy of reported food intake, and in order to study psychological and environmental factors which might affect eating, a number of investigators have examined the eating behavior of individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) under controlled conditions that permit food consumption to be measured.

Methods: Published studies that evaluated the eating behavior of individuals with BED in a laboratory were reviewed.

Results: In laboratory meals, individuals with BED consumed more kilocalories than individuals of similar weight who did not meet criteria for BED. These differences are observed consistently when subjects are asked to binge eat and when they are not.

Conclusions: In a laboratory setting, individuals with BED exhibit objectively abnormal eating behavior. These data support, but do not prove, the validity of BED as a diagnostic entity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Bulimia / classification
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Environment*