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  • Binge eaters more likely to have a history of major depression

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Friday, July 30, 2010 8:26 am Email this article
    People who suffer from binge eating disorder (BED) are much more likely to have a history of major depression than obese people without binge eating disorder according to Yanovski (1993).

    Among obese persons suffering from BED, 54 percent had a history of major depressive disorder compared to 14 percent of non-binge eating obese persons.

    Research has found that people with binge eating disorder had the following characteristics:

    1. More severe obesity than a control group of obese people.
    2. An earlier onset of becoming overweight.
    3. An earlier onset of dieting.


    Proposed diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder

    A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by the following:

    1. Eating, during a discrete period of time (eg within any 2 hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
    2. A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

    B. The binge eating episodes are associated with three or more of the following:

    1. Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    2. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    3. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    4. Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    5. Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating.
    6. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.

    D. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days per week for 6 months.

    E. The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (eg purging, fasting, excessive exercise) and does not occur exclusively during the course of Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.

    Reprinted from the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Copyright 2000, American Psychiatric Association.


    Yanovski SZ. Binge eating disorder: current knowledge. Obes Res. 1993, 1:306-24.

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