Women with eating disorders report using large quantities of artificially sweetened products, but this has not been quantified.
Objective: The authors assessed the use of selected artificially sweetened low-calorie products among women with eating disorders compared with controls.
Method: Thirty women with anorexia nervosa (18 with the restricting subtype [AN-R] and 12 with the binge/purge subtype [AN-B/P]), 48 women with bulimia nervosa (BN), and 32 healthy control women completed a survey of frequency and amount of consumption of chewing gum, artificially sweetened low-calorie beverages, and packets of artificial sweetener in the previous month.
Results: A greater proportion of women with AN-B/P and BN reported use of each product, compared with women with AN-R and control participants. Among product users, patients with eating disorders reported using greater amounts than controls. Among patients who reported binge eating and/or purging, the quantity of each product used was inversely correlated with body mass index (BMI).
Conclusion: These data suggest an increased drive for sweet orosensory stimulation in women with AN and BN.
2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.