Limited data exist regarding the association between binge eating and quality of life (QOL) in obese adolescent girls and boys. We, therefore, studied binge eating and QOL in 158 obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) adolescents (14.5 ± 1.4 years, 68.0% female, 59% African-American) prior to weight-loss treatment. Youth completed an interview to assess binge eating and a questionnaire measure of QOL. Controlling for body composition, binge eating youth (n = 35), overall, reported poorer QOL in domains of health, mobility, and self-esteem compared to those without binge eating (ps < 0.05). Also, girls, overall, reported poorer QOL than boys in activities of daily-living, mobility, self-esteem, and social/interpersonal functioning (ps < 0.05). Girls with binge eating reported the greatest impairments in activities of daily living, mobility, self-esteem, social/interpersonal functioning, and work/school QOL (ps < 0.05). Among treatment-seeking obese adolescents, binge eating appears to be a marker of QOL impairment, especially among girls. Prospective and treatment designs are needed to explore the directional relationship between binge eating and QOL and their impact on weight outcomes.
Keywords: adolescent; binge eating; obesity; weight-related quality of life (WR-QOL).