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Keywords:

  • binge eating disorder;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • factorially inseparable

Abstract

Objective

According to DSM-IV's proposed nosology, binge eating disorder is separable from bulimia nervosa. The basis for separation rests with compensatory behaviors (e.g., induced vomiting)—people with bulimia nervosa engage in compensatory behaviors, whereas those with binge eating disorder do not. We addressed the validity of this nosology.

Methods

In three studies on 2,015 young men and women, we used factor-analytic techniques to assess whether bulimic and binge eating symptoms are separable in men and women.

Results and Discussion

Results of the three studies converged: Although binge eating symptoms may be distinct from bulimic symptoms among young men, the two syndromes are factorially inseparable among young women. Nosologic and sociocultural implications are noted. © 2000 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 27: 198–205, 2000.