What Constitutes Clinically Significant Binge Eating? Association Between Binge Features and Clinical Validators in College-Age Women

Int J Eat Disord. 2013 Apr;46(3):226-32. doi: 10.1002/eat.22115. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the association between binge features and clinical validators.

Method: The Eating Disorder Examination assessed binge features in a sample of 549 college-age women: loss of control (LOC) presence, binge frequency, binge size, indicators of impaired control, and LOC severity. Clinical validators were self-reported clinical impairment and current psychiatric comorbidity, as determined via a semistructured interview.

Results: Compared with women without LOC, those with LOC had significantly greater odds of reporting clinical impairment and comorbidity (ps < 0.001). Among women with LOC (n = 252), the indicators of impaired control and LOC severity, but not binge size or frequency, were associated with greater odds of reporting clinical impairment and/or comorbidity (ps < 0.05). DICUSSION: Findings confirm that the presence of LOC may be the hallmark feature of binge eating. Further, dimensional ratings about the LOC experience--and possibly the indicators of impaired control--may improve reliable identification of clinically significant binge eating.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / psychology
  • Bulimia / diagnosis*
  • Bulimia / psychology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires