Nondieting Versus Dieting Treatment for Overweight Binge-Eating Women

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Abstract

This study evaluated the effectiveness of nondieting versus dieting treatments for overweight, binge-eating women. Participants (N = 219) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: diet treatment (DT), nondiet treatment (NDT), or wait-list control (WLC). DT received a balanced-deficit diet reinforced with behavioral strategies. NDT received therapy designed to help participants break out of their dieting cycles. Treatment in both conditions was administered in weekly groups for 6 months, followed by 26 biweekly maintenance meetings, for a total of 18 months of contact. At 6 months posttreatment, DT lost 0.6 kg while NDT gained 1.3 kg. Both treatment groups reduced their Binge Eating Scale scores significantly more than WLC. At 18-month follow-up, both treatment groups experienced weight gain but maintained similar reductions in binge eating. Results indicate that neither intervention was successful in producing short- or long-term weight loss. Therapist biases, which may have affected treatment integrity, and other methodological issues are discussed in relation to the small weight losses achieved.

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