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Psychopathology. 1996;29(2):77-84.

Subclassifications in eating disorders and obesity: a comparative study of an Italian sample.

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Institute of Psychiatry, University of Padua, Italy.


The purpose of this study is to examine differences between eating disorder subgroups, including obese patients, in a large Italian sample seen at a specialist clinic. All patients (n=263) who consecutively contacted the University Eating Disorder Outpatient Clinic of Padua were divided into subgroups according to the literature. Different subgroups were compared according to clinical features, SCL-90, EAT and TFEQ scores. The study confirms the importance of purging, which is associated with more severe psychiatric symptoms than bingeing; a direct correlation between severity of psychiatric symptoms and duration of eating disorder was found. Among obese patients the bingers are distinguished from the nonbingers by a higher degree of eating and psychological distress and a greater number of dieting attempts.

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