Can patients with eating disorders learn to eat intuitively? A 2-year pilot study

Eat Disord. 2017 Mar-Apr;25(2):99-113. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2017.1279907. Epub 2017 Feb 2.


The present article reports on a 2-year pilot study that evaluated the effectiveness of an intuitive eating program for patients in an eating disorder treatment center. Standardized measures of intuitive eating and eating disorder and psychological symptoms were administered. Psychotherapists and dietitians rated patients on the healthiness of their eating attitudes and behaviors. Preliminary findings indicated that patients can develop the skills of intuitive eating, and that the ability to eat intuitively is associated with positive treatment outcomes for each diagnostic category (i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified). We conclude by offering recommendations about how to implement intuitive eating training safely and effectively in inpatient and residential treatment programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intuition*
  • Learning*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Young Adult