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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Apr;62(2):381-6.

Binge eating disorder: reliability and validity of a new diagnostic category.

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  • 1New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York 10032.


This study examined the reliability and validity of binge eating disorder (BED), which has been proposed for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ([DSM] 4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, in press). The interrater reliability of the BED diagnosis compared favorably with that of most diagnoses in the revised third edition of the DSM. To assess validity, we compared obese individuals with and without BED and bulimia nervosa patients. BED subjects differed from the non-BED obese group on variables related to dieting and weight histories but did not differ significantly on other important variables, including measures of psychopathology. When compared with bulimia nervosa patients, subjects with BED had significantly less psychopathology and reported significantly less dietary restraint. This study lends some support to the concept of BED but suggests that additional studies of the characteristics of this disorder at different degrees of obesity would be useful.

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