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.
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