The purpose of this study was to conduct an assessment of binge eating severity among obese persons. Two questionnaires were developed. A 16-item Binge Eating Scale was constructed describing both behavioral manifestations (e.g., eating large amounts of food) and feeling/cognitions surrounding a binge episode (e.g., guilt, fear of being unable to stop eating). An 11-item Cognitive Factors Scale was developed measure two cognitive phenomena thought to be related to binge eating: the tendency to set unrealistic standards for a diet (e.g., eliminating "favorite foods") and low efficacy expectations for sustaining a diet. The results showed that the Binge Eating Scale successfully discriminated among persons judged by trained interviewers to have either no, moderate or severe binge eating problems. Significant correlation between the scales were obtained such that severe bingers tended to set up diets which were unrealistically strict while reporting low efficacy expectations to sustain a diet. The discussion highlighted the differences among obese persons on binge eating severity and emphasized the role of cognitions in the relapse of self control of eating.