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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 Jan;20(1):1-6.

Binge eating disorder and the night-eating syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine in three samples of obese women the prevalence of two eating disorders--binge eating disorder and the night-eating syndrome.

METHOD:

Interviews utilizing standard criteria. For binge eating disorder: the consumption of large amounts of food in a discrete period of time together with a subjective sense of loss of control and no vomiting or laxative abuse. For the night-eating syndrome: morning anorexia, evening hyperphagia and insomnia. Determining the rate of binging among patients receiving a placebo.

SUBJECTS:

(1) 102 viewers of a television show describing binge eating disorder; (2) 50 participants in a trial of medication for this disorder and (3) 79 participants in a weight reduction program.

RESULTS:

In the television sample 19.6% of respondents and in the weight reduction sample 7.6% met criteria for binge eating disorder; all subjects in the medication sample met criteria. During a 4-week placebo period average binge frequency fell from 6.0 to 1.7 binges per week. The night-eating syndrome was manifested by 13.7% of the television sample, 8.9% of the weight reduction sample and 15.0% in the medication trial sample. There was little overlap between the two disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Binge eating disorder is far less frequent than has been believed on the basis of questionnaire studies and it is highly responsive to placebos. Frequency of the night-eating syndrome is comparable to that of binge eating disorder. Future studies should assess binge eating disorder by interview rather than by self-administered questionnaire.

PMID:
8788315
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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