Prior Use of Extreme Weight-Control Behaviors in a Community Sample of Women with Binge Eating Disorder or Subthreshold Binge Eating Disorder: A Descriptive Study

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Objective and Method:The prior occurrence of regular extreme weightcontrol behaviors was examined in a community sample of women (n = 27) with binge eating disorder (BED) or subthreshold BED.Results:Approximately two thirds of participants (65.4%) reported the prior use of either purging at least weekly or nonpurging behaviors three or more times per week, for a period of 3 months or more, whereas 38.5% of participants reported either purging at least twice weekly or nonpurging behaviors five or more times per week. Comparatively few participants (11.1%) had ever met formal diagnostic criteria for BN.Discussion:Considerable overlap between disorders characterized by binge eating in the absence of extreme weightcontrol behaviors and those characterized by extreme weight-control behaviors in the absence of binge eating may be apparent when a longitudinal perspective is taken. Caution needs to be exercised in drawing conclusions concerning the extent of this overlap based on any one operational definition of the term “regular extreme weight-control behaviors”.

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