An emerging literature has illuminated an important link between Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and binge eating disorder (BED) within obese cohorts. However, prior work has not examined this relationship specifically in a weight loss surgery (WLS) sample or fully explored potential psychosocial factors associated with this co-occurrence. Therefore, the present investigation sought to identify socio-demographic (i.e. age, education, BMI, ethnicity, gender, age of obesity onset) and psychological (i.e. depressive symptoms, hedonic hunger/food locus of control beliefs, severity of binge eating-related cognitions) correlates of the co-occurrence of Type 2 DM and BED among bariatric surgery candidates. An archival sample of 488 patients seeking surgical treatment for clinical obesity completed a standard battery of pre-operative psychosocial measures. The presence of BED was evaluated using a semi-structured clinical interview based on the DSM-IV TR (APA, 2000) and was further corroborated by responses on the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns-Revised (QEWP-R; Spitzer, Yanovski, & Marcus, 1993). Results indicated that 8.2% of the sample was classified as having both Type 2 DM and BED concurrently. A multivariate logistic regression model revealed that in addition to other psychological (e.g., binge eating-related cognitions, hedonic hunger) and demographic variables (i.e. male gender), African American ethnicity (OR=3.3: 1.41-7.73) was a particularly robust indicator of comorbid status. Findings support and extend previous health disparity research urging greater attention to the needs of traditionally underserved, at-risk populations seeking treatment for obesity complicated by dysregulated eating and metabolism. Additionally, these preliminary results underscore the relevance of considering the potential benefits of providing quality comprehensive pre- and post-operative psychological care among bariatric patients towards optimizing both short- and long-term health and well-being.
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