Use of extreme weight control behaviors with and without binge eating in a community sample: Implications for the classification of bulimic-type eating disorders

Jonathan Mond*, Phillipa Hay, Bryan Rodgers, Cathy Owen, Ross Crosby, James Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    107 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective and Method: To inform the classification of bulimic-type eating disorders not meeting formal diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa (BN), levels of eating disorder psychopathology and functional impairment associated with subjective and objective bulimic episodes (SBEs and OBEs) and purging and nonpurging methods of weight control were examined in a large community-based sample of women (n = 5,232). Results: Participants who reported recurrent bulimic episodes had significantly higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology and functional impairment than those who did not and this was the case whether the episodes were objective or subjective. Similarly, participants who reported the use of extreme weight control behaviors had higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology and functional impairment than those who did not, and this was the case whether purging or nonpurging behaviors were employed. The combination of bulimic episodes and extreme weight control behaviors was associated with particularly high levels of eating disorder psychopathology and functional impairment. Conclusion: The combination of bulimic episodes, objective or subjective, and extreme weight control behaviors, purging or nonpurging, is significant in terms of impairment in psychosocial functioning among individuals affected by eating disorders not meeting formal diagnostic criteria for BN. The combination of SBEs and extreme weight control behaviors, in particular, warrants further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)294-302
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
    Volume39
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2006

    Keywords

    • Bulimia nervosa
    • Classification
    • Functional impairment

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