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Obes Res. 2004 Jun;12(6):999-1005.

Does binge eating disorder impact weight-related quality of life?

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Obesity and Quality of Life Consulting, 1004 Norwood Avenue, Durham, NC 27707, USA.



To determine whether binge eating disorder (BED) impacts weight-related quality of life in obese individuals seeking weight loss treatment and to investigate the role of psychological symptoms, BMI, and demographic variables in the relationship between BED and weight-related quality of life.


Three hundred seventeen women (BMI = 37.6) and 213 men (BMI = 41.3) completed questionnaires on admission into an intensive residential lifestyle modification program. Weight-related quality of life was assessed using the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite (IWQOL-Lite). The presence of BED was determined using the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns-Revised. Psychological symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory and the global severity index of the Symptom Checklist 90-R.


BED prevalence in this sample was 17.9%. Participants with BED, in comparison with those without BED, were more likely to be women (75.8% vs. 56.3%, p < 0.001), younger (45.0 vs. 49.7 years, p = 0.003), white (98.9% vs. 91.7%), heavier (BMI = 42.0 vs. 38.5, p = 0.002), psychologically distressed, and more impaired on total IWQOL-Lite (51.5 vs. 65.3, p < 0.001) and all IWQOL-Lite subscales. However, after controlling for demographic variables, BMI, and psychological symptoms, BED was not independently associated with weight-related quality of life.


The association between BED and impairment in quality of life that has been previously reported in the literature may largely be accounted for by differences between those with and without BED on demographic variables, BMI, and psychological symptoms. BED does not seem to independently impact weight-related quality of life.

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