Binge eating frequency and regular eating adherence: the role of eating pattern in cognitive behavioral guided self-help

Eat Behav. 2014 Apr;15(2):241-3. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 14.


Cognitive behavioral guided self-help (CBTgsh) is an evidence-based, brief, and cost-effective treatment for eating disorders characterized by recurrent binge eating. However, more research is needed to improve patient outcomes and clarify treatment components most associated with symptom change. A main component of CBTgsh is establishing a regular pattern of eating to disrupt dietary restriction, which prior research has implicated in the maintenance of binge eating. The present study used session-by-session assessments of regular eating adherence and weekly binge totals to examine the association between binge frequency and regular eating in a sample of participants (n = 38) receiving 10 sessions of CBTgsh for recurrent binge eating. Analyses were conducted using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to allow for data nesting, and a likelihood ratio test determined which out of three regression models best fit the data. Results demonstrated that higher regular eating adherence (3 meals and 2-3 planned snacks daily) was associated with lower weekly binge frequency in this sample, and both the magnitude and direction of the association were maintained after accounting for individual participant differences in binge and adherent day totals. Findings provide additional empirical support for the cognitive behavioral model informing CBTgsh. Possible clinical implications for treatment emphasis and sequencing in CBTgsh are discussed.

Keywords: Binge eating; CBT; Eating disorders; Guided self-help; Regular eating.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Bulimia / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Care*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult