Exploring Weight Gain in Year Before Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder: A Different Context for Interpreting Limited Weight Losses in Treatment Studies

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Objective:To examine weight changes in obese patients with binge-eating disorder (BED) during the year before seeking treatment and to explore correlates of weight changes.Method:Seventy-eight consecutive, treatment-seeking, obese BED patients were assessed with structured interviews and self-report questionnaires.Results:Overall, participants reported a mean weight gain of 15.1 pounds during the 12 months before treatment. This overall weight gain comprised remarkable heterogeneity, ranging from a 30-pound loss to a 53-pound gain. The subgroup of participants who reported gaining weight (76% of sample) reported gaining an average of 22.2 pounds during the 12 months before treatment. Weight change was associated with significantly more frequent binge eating and overeating during breakfasts.Discussion:Treatment-seeking obese patients with BED reported having gained substantial amounts of weight during the previous year. These findings provide an important context for interpreting the modest weight losses typically reported by treatment studies of BED.

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