Subjective or objective binge: is the distinction valid?

Int J Eat Disord. 1997 Nov;22(3):291-8. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-108x(199711)22:3<291::aid-eat8>;2-i.


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the validity of the distinction between objective and subjective binge episodes.

Method: Data were analyzed from 101 women who received 12 weeks of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for binge eating in a previous treatment study. Binges recorded by participants on daily food records were rated as either subjective or objective according to the Eating Disorder Examination rating guidelines. Unpaired t tests were performed to determine the relationship between type of binge, psychopathology, and other descriptive measures, including response to treatment.

Results: These analyses revealed no significant differences between types of binge episodes. Of note is the observation that objective binge episodes appeared to decrease more rapidly than subjective episodes during treatment.

Discussion: Future research should continue to investigate whether "large amount of food" is an appropriate criterion for the diagnosis of binge eating.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Diet Records
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Assessment