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Abstract

The current study was undertaken to provide descriptive data regarding the eating patterns of non-purging bulimic subjects and to determine whether these patterns are reflected in the DSM-III-R criteria. The self-monitored food records of 22 non-purging women seeking treatment for binge eating were analyzed. Subjects consumed an average of 602 kcal during their eating binges and the mean duration of binges was 38 minutes. There was large variability both in binge size and duration suggesting that a perception of loss of control during eating is preferable to the present D5M-III-R criterion that binges necessarily consist of the rapid consumption of a large amount of food in a discrete period of time. Consumption during binge episodes consisted of significantly less protein and fiber than consumption of non-binge days. There was no significant difference, however, between fat or carbohydrate consumption. Subjects' intake averaged approximately 2400 kcal/day on binge days compared with 1500 kcal on binge-free days. Thus, non-purging bulimic subjects meet the DSM-III-R criterion that binge episodes alternate with periods of restrictive dieting. An interesting additional finding was that subjects' recall of days during which binge eating occurred seems to be more accurate than their recall of the specific number of binge eating episodes.