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Innov Clin Neurosci. 2013 Apr;10(4):36-40.

The relationship between borderline personality and obesity.

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R. Sansone is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH, and Director of Psychiatry Education at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, OH. L. Sansone is a civilian family medicine physician and Medical Director of the Family Health Clinic at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center in WPAFB, OH. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or United States Government.


Obesity is a significant health problem in the United States. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand potential clinical associations with obesity, including personality pathology. From studies of personality disorders in other types of eating pathology, it appears that restrictive personality disorders (e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder) are associated with restrictive eating pathology (e.g., anorexia nervosa, restricting type) whereas impulsive personality disorders (e.g., borderline personality disorder) are associated with impulsive eating pathology (e.g., anorexia nervosa, binge-eating/purging type; bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder). Because binge eating disorder is oftentimes associated with an obese status, it seems likely that borderline personality disorder may also be associated with obesity. At the present time, there appear to be nine accessible studies in this area, comprising 639 obese individuals. While rates of borderline personality disorder in these studies vary from 2.2 to 94.1 percent, 10 of 19 measures detected this disorder at rates of 25 percent or higher, and the average of all percentages is 26.9 percent. Findings appear to support the association between impulsive personality pathology and impulsive eating pathology, and underscore that a significant minority of obese individuals may suffer from borderline personality disorder.


Axis II; binge eating disorder; borderline; borderline personality; eating disorders; obesity


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