New Inroads into Binge Eating Disorder

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
January/February Volume 24, Number 1
©2013 Gürze Books

One change in the long-awaited fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be establishment of binge eating disorder (BED) as a separate and distinct diagnosis. Chevese Turner, founder and CEO of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), praised the move noting that it is an enormous step forward for prevention, research, education, and treatment of a disorder that currently affects more than 10 million men and women.

One advance has been a better understanding of loss of control (LOC) eating among youth. A team of researchers from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported their study of meal patterns in youth with and without reported LOC eating. As Brittany E. Matheson reported at the International Conference on Eating Disorders last May, it is important to understand LOC eating because it is associated with excess adiposity, disordered eating attitudes, increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, and is predictive of excessive weight gain and partial or full-syndrome BED. The researchers found that similar to adults with binge eating, youth with LOC eating engage in irregular meal patterns; however, unlike adults, the afternoon may be a particularly vulnerable time for binge eating episodes in adolescents, especially those who are home alone, with unlimited access to food. The researchers advise implementing regular meal patterns for these youth, similar to CBT approaches for BED, to reduce LOC eating and prevent full-syndrome eating disorders.

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