Binge Eating and Weight Loss Outcomes in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: 4-Year Results from the Look AHEAD Study

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Nov;25(11):1830-1837. doi: 10.1002/oby.21975.


Objective: This study aims to assess whether an intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) for weight reduction precipitates binge eating (BE) and whether BE attenuates 4-year weight loss among participants with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity.

Methods: Participants (N = 4,901) were from Look AHEAD, a randomized controlled trial that compared ILI to diabetes support and education (DSE). Annual assessments of measured weight and self-reported BE were used. By using the yearly time points when a person endorsed BE, participants were classified as no BE, remitted BE, incident BE, inconsistent BE (2-3 years, including baseline), and consistent BE (≥ 4 years, including baseline). Cox regression and mixed-effects models were used for analyses.

Results: ILI participants were marginally more likely to report incident BE at year 4 than those in DSE (P = 0.06). At year 4, ILI participants with remitted BE lost more weight (4.7 ± 0.8%) than those with consistent BE (1.9 ± 1.0%; P = 0.03). ILI participants with no BE lost more weight (4.6 ± 0.2%) than those with incident BE (3.1 ± 0.6%; P = 0.02) and consistent BE (P = 0.01). DSE participants with remitted BE lost more weight than those with incident and consistent BE.

Conclusions: Preexisting BE did not seem to be a contraindication for ILI, although persistent BE attenuated weight loss. Patients who report new or ongoing BE may need additional treatment.

Trial registration: NCT00017953.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss / physiology*

Associated data