Screening Obese Adolescents for Binge Eating Disorder in Primary Care: The Adolescent Binge Eating Scale

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ObjectiveTo investigate the performance of a simple and developmentally appropriate 10-item questionnaire (Adolescent Binge Eating Scale) for the prediction of binge eating disorder (BED) diagnosis in adolescents seen for obesity.Study designWe evaluated the performance of the questionnaire in comparison with a clinical interview, in a population of adolescents being seen for obesity. The χ2 or Fisher exact tests were used.ResultsThere were 94 adolescents aged 12-18 years (59.6% girls) who completed the study. The questionnaire demonstrated a good association with the clinical interview and distinguished different levels of risk for having a BED: participants who responded positively to questions 1 or 2 and had more than 6 positive answers to the 8 additional questions had a high risk of subclinical and clinical BED (83.3%); participants with 3 or fewer positive answers had a low risk of clinical BED (4%).ConclusionsThe Adolescent Binge Eating Scale questionnaire is a potential screening tool to identify adolescents with obesity at high risk of BED and guide referral to a specialist to clarify the diagnosis and provide adequate care.

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