Alcohol and drug-related negative consequences in college students with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder




The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between disordered eating and substance use in a nonclinical sample of college students.


Participants completed the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale (EDDS), which includes full diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and anorexia nervosa (AN) as outlined in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, as well as assessments of both alcohol and drug use and use-related consequences.


Individuals meeting criteria for BN reported more alcohol-related negative consequences despite the fact that they did not drink significantly more alcohol and did not drink more frequently than non–eating-disordered individuals. Similarly, individuals with BN reported more negative consequences related to illicit drug use than non–eating-disordered individuals, although no differences in lifetime and recent use of drugs were found.


Results highlight the importance of distinguishing between use and consequences in evaluating eating disorders and comorbid substance use problems. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 32: 171–178, 2002.