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Appetite. 2013 Dec;71:445-8.

A history of the identification of the characteristic eating disturbances of Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa.


During the last 25 years, the careful examination of the eating behavior of individuals with eating disorders has provided critical insights into the nature of these disorders. Crucially, studies investigating components of different eating behaviors have documented that Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), and Binge Eating Disorder (BED) are characterized by objective disturbances in eating patterns that are significantly different than behaviors exhibited by individuals who do not have these eating disorders. The detailed description of the disturbances in eating behavior has helped to identify diagnostic criteria associated with each disorder, and has led to important hypotheses about the underlying pathophysiology. These advances in understanding have provided, and continue to provide, a foundation for translational research and for the development of novel treatment interventions. This review is based on a presentation given by B. Timothy Walsh, M.D. at the 40th anniversary symposium of the Columbia University Appetite talks outlining the evolution of the discovery of the characteristic eating disturbances seen with each disorder.

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