Patterns of food selection during binges in women with binge eating disorder

E A Cooke, J L Guss, H R Kissileff, M J Devlin, B T Walsh
International Journal of Eating Disorders 1997, 22 (2): 187-93

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether temporal patterns of food selection during binges in obese subjects with binge eating disorder (BED) differ from those of patients with bulimia nervosa (BN).

METHOD: Ten obese women with BED and 10 weight-matched women without BED each consumed a multiple-item meal identical to that used in previous studies with bulimics, and all subjects were instructed to binge. An experimenter recorded the subjects' food choices every 10 s throughout the meal via a closed-circuit TV camera.

RESULTS: Subjects with BED consumed significantly more meat than subjects without BED (397.78 vs. 270.64 kcal), but the food choices and percentages of time spent eating each of the foods were similar among BED, non-BED, and normal weight controls. While bulimics ate dessert foods earlier in the meals, all other groups ate meat towards the beginning of their meal and ate more dessert foods towards the end of the meal.

DISCUSSION: Food selection patterns during binges in subjects with BED are more similar to eating patterns of noneating disordered subjects, than to patterns seen in patients with BN. These data suggest that binge episodes between different groups of eating-disordered populations are qualitatively different.

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