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Keywords:

  • binge eating disorder;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • relationship

Abstract

Objective

This study examined the relationship between binge eating disorder (BED), a newly proposed eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa (BN).

Method

Three groups recruited from the community were compared: women with BED (n = 150), women with purging BN (n = 48), and women with nonpurging BN (n = 14).

Results

The three groups did not differ significantly in education, weight or shape concern, and current or lifetime prevalence of nine major mental disorders. Women with BED, compared with women with purging BN, were older, less likely to have a history of anorexia nervosa, and less likely to have been treated for an eating disorder. Obesity was more commonly associated with BED than with either subtype of BN.

Discussion

Our results lend some support to BED as an eating disorder distinct from purging BN. More research is needed to clarify the position of nonpurging BN relative to BED and purging BN. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 29: 157-165, 2001.