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Berkman ND, Brownley KA, Peat CM, et al. Management and Outcomes of Binge-Eating Disorder [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2015 Dec. (Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 160.)

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Management and Outcomes of Binge-Eating Disorder [Internet].

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Table 1DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for binge-eating disorder

Criteria SetSpecific Definitions for Each Criterion
Criterion 1Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
  1. Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
  2. The sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)
Criterion 2Binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
  1. Eating much more rapidly than normal
  2. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  3. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  4. Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
  5. Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
Criterion 3Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
Criterion 4The binge eating occurs, on average,
  1. at least 2 days a week for 6 months (DSM-IV frequency and duration criteria)
  2. at least 1 day a week for 3 months (DSM-5 frequency and duration criteria)
Criterion 5The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise) and does not occur exclusively during the course of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
Severity GradingDSM-IV does not include a BED severity grading scale.
Applicable to DSM-5 only, BED severity is graded as follows:
  • Mild: 1 to 3 episodes per week
  • Moderate: 4 to 7 episodes per week
  • Severe: 8 to 13 episodes per week
  • Extreme: 14 or more episodes per week

BED = binge-eating disorder; DSM = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

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