Four hundred fifty-five females from a community-bgased, randomly sampled population were interviewed by telephone to estimate the prevalence of binge eating and to describe demographic and topographical characteristics of binge eating behaviour. Binge eaters were classified according to the DSM-111-R criteria for bulimia, excluding purging behavior. The estimate for subjects meeting criteria was 1.8%, while the percentage of females who met all but frequency criteria was estimated at 3.8%. The majority of binge eaters in this study was found to engage in behaviors typically associated with binge eating episodes. On average, this group of binge eaters was older and heavier than has been reported previously, which supported observed associations between binge eating and overweight in clinical populations [Telch, Agras, & Rossiter (1988). International Journal of Eating Disorders, 7, 115-119]. © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.