Examining the Binge Eating Scale in screening for binge eating disorder in bariatric surgery candidates

Obes Surg. 2013 Jan;23(1):1-6. doi: 10.1007/s11695-011-0537-4.


Background: This study assessed the utility of the Binge Eating Scale (BES) as a measure of binge eating disorder (BED) in a bariatric surgery-seeking population by (a) determining the optimal BES cut score for predicting BED, (b) calculating concordance statistics, and (c) determining the predictive value of each BES item.

Methods: Four hundred seventy-three patients presented for a psychological evaluation prior to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. The BES and the SCID semi-structured interview for BED were administered.

Results: Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses identified an optimal BES cut score of 17, which correctly classified 78% of patients with BED. A cut score of 27 improved this statistic, but significantly increased the number of false negatives, which is undesirable for a screening assessment. Discriminant function analyses revealed that nearly all BES items significantly predicted BED.

Conclusions: The BES is a valid screener of BED for patients seeking bariatric surgery; however, false positives can be expected. Administering the BES as part of a comprehensive psychological evaluation can help improve the assessment and treatment of patients presenting for bariatric surgery.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / complications
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / psychology*
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / surgery
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Patient Selection*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult