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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Sep;158(9):1455-60.

A comparison of black and white women with binge eating disorder.

Author information

  • 1New England Women's Health Project.



Binge eating disorder was introduced in DSM-IV as a psychiatric disorder needing further study. This community-based study describes the relationship between race and clinical functioning in black and white women with and without binge eating disorder.


A group of 150 women with binge eating disorder (52 black, 98 white) and a race-matched group of 150 healthy comparison subjects were recruited from the community. Eating and psychiatric symptoms were assessed through interviews and self-report.


Black and white women with binge eating disorder differed significantly on numerous eating disorder features, including binge frequency, restraint, history of other eating disorders, treatment-seeking behavior, and concerns with eating, weight, and shape. Black and white healthy comparison subjects differed significantly in obesity rates.


For both black and white women, binge eating disorder was associated with significant impairment in clinical functioning. Yet, racial differences in clinical presentation underscore the importance of considering race in psychopathology research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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