Influence of race, gender, and socioeconomic status on binge eating frequency in a population-based sample

Int J Eat Disord. 2005 Nov;38(3):252-6. doi: 10.1002/eat.20177.


Objective: This study investigates race and gender differences in the demographic and socioeconomic determinants of frequency of binge eating using a population-based sample.

Method: An analysis of self-reported data on 573 women and 360 men (range, 18-97 years) from a cross-sectional, multistage area probability sample of individuals aged 18 years and older residing in the Detroit metropolitan area conducted in 1995.

Results: For women, the frequency of binge eating is negatively associated with age and family income, and positively associated with being married, depression, and time residing in polluted neighborhoods. For men, the frequency of binge eating is negatively associated with age. The frequency of binge eating was not affected by education, race, obesity, or current dieting.

Conclusion: The frequency of binge eating is highest among adults younger than 40 years. It follows an income gradient for women, but not for men. After controls for individual disadvantage, there is no residual Black/White difference in binge eating.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black People / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / economics*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class*
  • Urban Population
  • White People / psychology*