Binge Eating Among Youths with Type 2 Diabetes

Those at risk had higher levels of extreme obesity and more depressive symptoms.

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
September/October 2011 Volume 22, Number 5
©2011 Gürze Books

The TODAY study is a multicenter randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Beginning in May 2004, the study enrolled 704 young persons who had type 2 diabetes for less than 2 years and whose body mass index (BMI) was above the 85th percentile at diagnosis.

As Dr. Denise Wilfley of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, recently reported in the August 2011 issue of Diabetes Care (34:858), when researchers looked at the prevalence of binge eating among 678 of the TODAY study participants, using a self-report measure of eating disorder symptoms, youths with clinical (6%) and subclinical (20%) levels of binge eating had significantly higher levels and rates of extreme obesity, global eating disorder and depressive symptomsalong with impaired quality of life. Mood was evaluated with the use of self-report questionnaires, the Beck Depression Inventory, or the Child Depression Inventory, depending on the participant’s age. Quality of Life was determined with the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

The mean age of the sample group was 14.0 years and 41.7% were Hispanic, 32.0% were black non-Hispanics, 20.1% were white non-Hispanics, 6.25% were American Indians, and 64.9% were female.

More than a fourth of the youths reported binge eating

As Dr. Wilfley reported, 26% of the youths with type 2 diabetes reported binge eating. The presence of binge eating in these young patients was particularly troubling given the association of binge eating with accelerated weight gain in those who are already overweight. There were also significant differences in waist circumference. This finding was also worth noting because waist circumference has been shown to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure and visceral fat deposits, both of which are linked to heightened insulin resistance.

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