Food restriction and binge eating: a study of former prisoners of war

J Abnorm Psychol. 1994 May;103(2):409-11. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.103.2.409.


Food restriction is correlated with binge eating, but evidence that restriction leads to binge eating is scanty. In this study we investigated postwar binge eating in 67 World War II combat veterans and 198 former prisoners of war. As predicted, binge eating was relatively rare in combat veterans but was significantly more prevalent in veterans who, as prisoners in German prisoner of war camps, lost significant amounts of weight during their captivity. Our data thus support the contention that starvation or dieting seems to precede binge eating.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Concentration Camps
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / psychology*
  • Male
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Warfare*
  • Weight Loss