The relationship of weight suppression and dietary restraint to binge eating in bulimia nervosa

Int J Eat Disord. 2007 Nov;40(7):640-4. doi: 10.1002/eat.20405.


Objective: Recent research has raised important questions about the relationships between weight suppression (WS) (discrepancy between highest-ever and current weight), dietary restraint, and binge eating in bulimia nervosa (BN).

Method: In the current study, these variables were studied cross-sectionally through secondary analyses of baseline data collected in a multi-site treatment study. Participants (N = 182) were treatment-seeking women diagnosed with BN. Dietary restraint and binge eating were measured via the Eating Disorders Examination.

Results: WS was directly and dietary restraint was inversely related to frequency of binge eating. The inverse relationship between dietary restraint and binge eating may be explained in part by the fact that the most restrained patients with BN had the greatest desire to lose weight.

Conclusion: Implications of these findings for future research on the perpetuation and treatment of BN are discussed.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States