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Int J Eat Disord. 2007 Jan;40(1):77-81.

Symptom severity in obese women with binge eating disorder as a function of smoking history.

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



To compare obese female former smokers with binge eating disorder (BED) to women with BED with no smoking history in the severity of binge eating and associated symptoms.


A consecutive series of 91 obese women with current diagnoses of BED were administered structured diagnostic and investigator-based interviews and self-report questionnaires to assess symptoms associated with eating disorders. Participants were classified as "never" or "former" smokers and symptom profiles were compared across smoking groups.


Former and never-smoking groups did not differ in age, body mass index, or current binge frequency. Former smokers reported significantly higher levels of dietary restraint, rigid dieting strategies, and avoidance of eating.


Former smokers were significantly more likely than never-smokers to endorse specific symptoms of eating pathology (i.e., rigid dieting strategies). Despite the average 15-year interval since smoking cessation, the former smokers in this patient group resembled current smokers with other eating disorders in terms of rigid and restrictive weight control methods. Obese patients with a smoking history may benefit from treatment to address rigid/pathological dieting and strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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