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Eat Behav. 2000 Sep;1(1):3-21.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and nutritional counseling in the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating.

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  • 1Graduate School of Applied Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 152 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8085, USA.


The goals of manual-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and nutritional counseling for eating disorders are similar, namely, eliminating dysfunctional patterns of eating. Modifying these behaviors requires specific therapeutic expertise in the principles and procedures of behavior change that is not typically part of the training of nutritionists and dieticians or mental health professionals without specific expertise. We discuss ways in which principles of behavior change can be applied to eating disorders by non-CBT experts. Specific nutritional rehabilitation programs have the potential to augment CBT in addressing the array of appetitive abnormalities present in eating disorder patients. The dysfunctional appetitive, hedonic, and metabolic characteristics of patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder are reviewed. These abnormalities constitute potential target areas that might be more fully addressed by nutritional interventions designed to restore normal appetitive function.


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