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Int J Eat Disord. 1994 Jan;15(1):53-61.

Obesity, binge eating and psychopathology: are they related?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5542.


Obese female subjects with binge eating disorder BED; (N = 107) completed the Beck Depression Inventory, Symptom Checklist-90, Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Subjects were divided into moderate or severe binger on the basis of scores on the Binge Eating Scale, and grouped into moderately or severely obese by performing a median split on their weights. Spearman correlational analyses were performed to determine the relationship between psychopathology and obesity and psychopathology and binge eating. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were then performed using scores on the psychological measures with subjects grouped both by severity of obesity and severity of binge eating. The results indicated that in our sample, obesity and scores on the measures of psychiatric symptomatology were unrelated. However, a significant positive relationship was found between binge eating severity and degree of psychiatric symptomatology. We suggest that binge eating may account for the observed relationship between obesity and psychopathology reported in previous studies. We discuss the importance of assessing BED when conducting research with obese individuals.

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