DSM-IV Behavioral Indicators for Binge Eating Episodes

Two of the five criteria were most helpful.

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
January/February 2011 Volume 22, Number 1
©2011 Gürze Books

Binge eating disorder (BED) is still being defined. Drs. Marney A. White and Carlos M. Grilo, of Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, report that while research criteria for BED have been well established, the use of the five behavioral indicators for the disorder listed in the DSM-IV are still being evaluated. The five criteria are: eating until uncomfortably full, eating when not hungry, eating more rapidly than usual, eating in secret, and feeling disgust, shame, or depression after the eating binge.

As they reported at the Eating Disorders Research Society meeting last October, two behavioral indicators of BED stood out when they evaluated 916 community volunteers. The volunteers completed a battery of questionnaires, included in the Eating Disorders Examination and specific questions about the frequency of the behavioral indicators. The subjects were categorized in three groups: those with BED (164), bulimia nervosa (83), and non-binge-eating controls (669).

The two types of behavior that most often helped identify binge eating were eating when not hungry and eating alone because of embarrassment.

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