Is binge eating a cognitive disorder? Results from the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project

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BACKGROUNDIndividuals with binge eating disorder (BED) are differentially affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and substance use disorder. We have investigated to what extent cognitive deficits are relevant to binge eating behavior (BEB).METHODSData from the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project were retrospectively and cross-sectionally analyzed to compare individuals with and without BEB on measures of anhedonia and general cognitive functions (n = 566). BEB was assessed using items from the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview Plus 5.0.0 for DSM-IV-TR that correspond with DSM-5–defined diagnostic criteria for BED. Individuals currently prescribed benzodiazepines were excluded from analyses.RESULTSIndividuals with BEB were more likely to exhibit anhedonia (P = .044) and general cognitive (P = .005) symptoms, when compared to those without BEB. We also observed that individuals with BEB were more likely to have specific psychiatric (eg, ADHD) and medical (eg, obesity) disorders (P < .05).CONCLUSIONSOur results suggest that a central disturbance in cognitive processes may be mechanistically relevant to the cause and treatment of BEB in adults.

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