Self-recognition of disordered eating among women with bulimic-type eating disorders: A community-based study

Jonathan Mond*, Phillipa Hay, Bryan Rodgers, Cathy Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    55 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Self-recognition of eating-disordered behavior was examined in a community sample of young adult women (n = 158) with bulimic eating disorders. Method: A vignette was presented describing a fictional person meeting diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa. Participants were asked whether they might currently have a problem such as the one described. Scores on measures of eating disorder psychopathology, functional impairment and general psychological distress were compared between participants who recognized a problem with their eating and those who did not. Results: Participants who recognized a problem with their eating (n = 86, 51.9%) had higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology and general psychological distress, were more likely to engage in self-induced vomiting, and tended to be heavier, than those who did not (n = 72, 48.1%). In addition, participants who recognized a problem were more likely to have received treatment for an eating or weight problem. In multivariate analysis, the occurrence of self-induced vomiting and higher body weight were the only variables significantly associated with recognition. Conclusion: Poor recognition of eating-disordered behavior may be conducive to low or inappropriate treatment seeking among individuals with bulimic-type eating disorders. The perception that only disorders involving self-induced vomiting are pathological may need to be addressed in prevention programs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)747-753
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


    • Bulimia nervosa
    • Eating disorders
    • Mental health literacy
    • Recognition


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