Eating attitudes of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and obesity without eating disorder female patients: differences and similarities

M S Alvarenga, P Koritar, F Pisciolaro, M Mancini, T A Cordás, F B Scagliusi
Physiology & Behavior 2014 May 28, 131: 99-104
The objective was to compare eating attitudes, conceptualized as beliefs, thoughts, feelings, behaviors and relationship with food, of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) patients and a group of obese (OBS) without eating disorders (ED). Female patients from an Eating Disorder (ED) Unit with AN (n=42), BN (n=52) and BED (n=53) and from an obesity service (n=37) in Brazil answered the Disordered Eating Attitude Scale (DEAS) which evaluate eating attitudes with 5 subscales: relationship with food, concerns about food and weight gain, restrictive and compensatory practices, feelings toward eating, and idea of normal eating. OBS patients were recruited among those without ED symptoms according to the Binge Eating Scale and the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns. ANOVA was used to compare body mass index and age between groups. Bonferroni test was used to analyze multiple comparisons among groups. AN and BN patients presented more dysfunctional eating attitudes and OBS patients less dysfunctional (p<0.001). For DEAS total score, AN and BN patients were similar and all other were different (p<0.001). Similarities suggested between BN and BED were true just for the "Relationship with food" and "Idea of normal eating." BED patients were worst than OBS for "Relationship with food" and as dysfunctional as AN patients - besides their behavior could be considered the opposite. Differences and similarities support a therapeutic individualized approach for ED and obese patients, call attention for the theoretical differences between obesity and ED, and suggest more research focused on eating attitudes.

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