Characteristics of eating disorder patients without a drive for thinness


  • Parts of these data had been presented at the VI National Convention of Italian Society of Psychopathology (SOPSI), Rome, Italy, February 21–25, 2001



The aim of this study was to investigate two samples of patients affected by anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN), respectively, with and without the diagnostic feature of drive for thinness (DT).


The samples comprised 70 consecutive eating disorder (ED) outpatients at the Department of Psychiatry (University of Pisa) and 106 AN patients admitted to a day hospital in Toronto, Canada. Subjects were assessed on clinical and psychometric parameters.


In both countries, 17% of the subjects had low DT as measured by the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI). They comprised the atypical group and appeared to have less severe psychopathology.


Weight phobia should not be viewed as critical to the diagnosis of ED and DT could be a culture-bound dimension. Considering the differences between the two groups, the characterization of patients as typical and atypical may be clinically useful. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 32: 206–212, 2002.