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Int J Eat Disord. 2017 Jun;50(6):648-656. doi: 10.1002/eat.22648. Epub 2016 Nov 12.

Children of parents with BED have more eating behavior disturbance than children of parents with obesity or healthy weight.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.



A limited literature suggests an association between parental eating disorders and child eating-disorder behaviors although this research has focused primarily on restrictive-type eating disorders and very little is known about families with binge-eating disorder (BED).


The current study focused on parents (N = 331; 103 fathers and 226 mothers), comparing parents with core features of BED (n = 63) to parents with obesity and no eating disorder (OB; n = 85) and parents with healthy-weight and no eating disorder (HW; n = 183).


Parents with BED were significantly more likely than OB and HW parents to report child binge eating, and more likely than HW parents to report child overeating. Parents with BED felt greater responsibility for child feeding than OB parents, and felt more concern about their child's weight than OB and HW parents. Dietary restriction of the child by the parents was related to child binge eating, overeating, and child overweight, and parental group was related to child binge eating (parental BED), overeating (parental BED), and child weight (parental OB).


Parents with BED report greater disturbance in their children's eating than OB and HW parents, and OB parents report higher child weight than HW parents. This suggests that it is important to consider both eating-disorder psychopathology and obesity in clinical interventions and research. Our cross-sectional findings, which require experimental and prospective confirmations, provide preliminary evidence suggesting potential factors in families with parental BED and obesity to address in treatment and prevention efforts for pediatric eating disorders and obesity. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.(Int J Eat Disord 2017; 50:648-656).


binge-eating disorder; child; fathers; feeding; mothers; obesity; parenting

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