Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with dropout in a weight reduction program among obese, nonpurging binge and nonbinge eaters.
Method: We categorized 156 obese, nonpurging women previously randomized to a behavior modification-based (BM) or a food addiction theory-based (FD) weight reduction intervention by binge status using the DSM-IV criteria for binge eating disorder (BED). Subjects were monitored prospectively for dropout during the 6-month intervention period.
Results: Results of a Cox proportional hazards survival analysis indicated binge status had a statistically significant (p = .04) protective effect against dropout. Binge eaters were half as likely to dropout versus nonbinge eaters.
Discussion: We conclude that (1) the DSM-IV criteria for BED is a useful method of classifying obese individuals in weight loss interventions and (2) the identification of subgroups among obese subjects is an important step in understanding retention in weight loss programs. Future research can confirm this finding.