Does the size of a binge matter?




The aim of this study was to examine whether objective and subjective binges differ significantly from each other in relation to measures of psychopathology in a sample of women who meet DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa. Method: Baseline data from the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) were analyzed and the average of the sum of and the difference between objective and subjective binge episodes were converted to z scores. Regressions were run with other baseline measures including the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnosis of DSM-III-R (SCID) I and II disorders, EDE subscales, and psychological measures. Results: We found no significant difference between the two types of binges on all but one measure, the “Can Do” subscale of the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, in a regression with the z score of total binges. Discussion: The lack of significant findings questions the diagnostic validity of the “large amount of food” criterion used to define binge eating in the DSM-IV. © 1998 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 24: 307–312, 1998.