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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare data from a group of obese subjects with binge eating disorder (BED) with data from a group of normal weight bulimia nervosa (BN) subjects. Subjects were compared using the Eating Disorder Questionnaire (EDQ), the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Personality Disorders Questionnaire for DSM-III-R (PDQ-R), the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Rating Scales, and the Beck Depression Inventory. A group of 35 age-matched subjects were selected retrospectively from treatment study subjects. The EDQ findings indicated that members of the BN group desired a lower body mass index, were more afraid of becoming fat, and more uncomfortable with their binge eating behavior than the BED group members. The BED subjects had a younger age of onset of binge eating behavior (14.3) than the BN subjects (19.8), even though both groups started dieting at a similar age (BED = 15.0, BN = 16.2). The EDI results showed BN subjects had more eating and weight-related pathology, with significantly higher scores on five of the eight subscales. On the PDQ-R more BN subjects endorsed Axis II impairment (BN = 69%, BED = 40%). While demonstrating greater eating pathology in the BN group, this study also found significant pathology and distress in BED subjects. © 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.