Alexithymia, obesity, and binge eating disorder

Int J Eat Disord. 1995 Mar;17(2):135-40. doi: 10.1002/1098-108x(199503)17:2<135::aid-eat2260170205>;2-7.


Eighty-three obese subjects with binge eating disorder (BED) were compared with 99 obese subjects not meeting criteria for BED on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS). Overall, the subjects in our sample were not significantly alexithymic, the mean global TAS score being 62.8 (SD = 10.2) which is comparable with the values found in non-patient control samples. Furthermore, the mean TAS scores did not differ between obese subjects with and without BED. However, we found a slightly higher prevalence of alexithymia (TAS total score 74 and above) in BED subjects compared with non-BED subjects (24.1% and 11.1%, respectively). A series of stepwise multiple regression analyses were run, exhibiting a significant relationship between the TAS and educational level and the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) subscales Interpersonal Distrust and Ineffectiveness. Age, body mass index, measures of depression, and eating pathology did not predict TAS scores.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / complications*
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Educational Status
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis