Nondieting versus dieting treatment for overweight binge-eating women

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1998 Apr;66(2):363-8. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.66.2.363.


This study evaluated the effectiveness of nondieting versus dieting treatments for overweight, binge-eating women. Participants (N = 219) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: diet treatment (DT), nondiet treatment (NDT), or wait-list control (WLC). DT received a balanced-deficit diet reinforced with behavioral strategies. NDT received therapy designed to help participants break out of their dieting cycles. Treatment in both conditions was administered in weekly groups for 6 months, followed by 26 biweekly maintenance meetings, for a total of 18 months of contact. At 6 months posttreatment, DT lost 0.6 kg while NDT gained 1.3 kg. Both treatment groups reduced their Binge Eating Scale scores significantly more than WLC. At 18-month follow-up, both treatment groups experienced weight gain but maintained similar reductions in binge eating. Results indicate that neither intervention was successful in producing short- or long-term weight loss. Therapist biases, which may have affected treatment integrity, and other methodological issues are discussed in relation to the small weight losses achieved.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Body Mass Index
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / diet therapy*
  • Hyperphagia / psychology
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Psychotherapy, Group