The role of dieting in binge eating disorder: etiology and treatment implications

Clin Psychol Rev. 1999 Jan;19(1):25-44. doi: 10.1016/s0272-7358(98)00009-9.


Dieting has been implicated as a potential contributor in the development of binge eating problems in binge eating disorder (BED). If dieting plays a causal role in the etiology of BED, this could have major implications for understanding and treating individuals with the disorder. This article reviews the existing literature on the role of dieting in BED. Retrospective studies of dieting history, research on levels of dietary restraint, and prospective studies investigating the effects of dieting on subsequent eating behavior are explored. Although the literature is inconclusive as to the exact role that dieting plays in the etiology of BED, recommendations for future research and suggestions for treatment are given.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / etiology*
  • Bulimia / therapy
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet, Reducing / adverse effects*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminology as Topic