Which factors do provoke binge-eating? An exploratory study in female students

Eat Behav. 2001 Spring;2(1):79-83. doi: 10.1016/s1471-0153(00)00025-8.


To study the different factors (external, emotional, cognitive, and physiological) which may trigger binge-eating in young females. A total of 110 female students (between 14 and 25 years of age) filled out the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) and the Binge Eating Trigger Checklist (BETCH), a new screening device to evaluate the type of situations (and their experienced discomfort) which subjects identify as antecedents of a binge-eating episode. Approximately 41% of the female students reported binge-eating and 15% admitted they have daily binges. The binge-eating triggers most frequently reported and at the same time having the highest level of discomfort were emotional triggers (feeling bored, depressed, anxious, tense, and sad) and physiological triggers (being hungry and feeling an urge to eat sweets). Fewer food-related cues have been reported whereas dysfunctional cognitions were rarely mentioned as antecedents of binge-eating. Binge-eating, as perceived and reported by female students, seems to be provoked by a combination of different antecedents, both emotional and physiological.