Yoga as a treatment for binge eating disorder: a preliminary study

Complement Ther Med. 2009 Aug;17(4):196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2009.05.002. Epub 2009 Jun 13.


Objective: To examine the efficacy of a 12-week yoga program aimed at reducing binge eating severity.

Design: A randomised trial was undertaken assigning participants to yoga (n=45) or wait-list control (n=45) groups. Of these, 25 in each group were analysed.

Participants: A community-based sample of women between 25 and 63 years of age who identified with diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder (BED) and a BMI>25 were recruited for the study.

Main outcome measures: Primary outcomes included the Binge Eating Scale (BES) and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Secondary outcomes comprised measures for BMI, hips and waist.

Results: For the yoga group, self-reported reductions in binge eating and increases in physical activity were statistically significant. Small yet statistically significant reductions for BMI, hips and waist measurement were obtained. The wait-list control group did not improve significantly on any measures.

Conclusion: In conjunction with formal weekly sessions, home-based yoga programs are potentially efficacious for the treatment of binge eating.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia Nervosa / complications
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Waist Circumference
  • Yoga*