A learning model of binge eating: cue reactivity and cue exposure

Behav Res Ther. 1998 Mar;36(3):257-72. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7967(98)00055-2.


In the present article, a learning model of binge eating is presented. It has been hypothesized that, parallel to drug intake, the craving and excessive food intake of binge eaters is cue controlled. Research in support of the model is reviewed and a series of predictions about clinical and non-clinical issues is derived from the model. Amongst other things, the model predicts that binge eating might be successfully treated with cue exposure and response prevention. Practical issues are discussed and preliminary pilot studies on cue exposure for bingers are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Conditioning, Psychological*
  • Cues*
  • Desensitization, Psychologic
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / psychology*
  • Hyperphagia / therapy