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Keywords:

  • binge eating;
  • extreme weight control behaviors;
  • quality of life;
  • general population survey

Abstract

Objective

The aims were to test relationships between bulimic eating disorder behaviors, and measures of quality of life, and to replicate previous findings with respect to their prevalence and distribution in a representative sample.

Method

Data were obtained from 3010 interviews of a randomly selected sample of 4400 adult households. Quality of life was assessed with the SF-36 Health Status Measure and the Australian Quality of Life Survey.

Results

Eating disorder behaviors were associated with significantly lower quality of life scores. On MANOVA, regular current binge eating explained 23% (p < 0.001) of the variance in SF-36 physical and mental health component scores, and extreme weight control behaviors explained 5% (p = 0.001). The main findings of the former South Australian survey were replicated. The mean duration of behaviors since onset was 6.6 (SD, 9.2; median 3) years.

Conclusions

Eating disorder behaviors were associated with poorer quality of life and were often chronic. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 434–442, 2003.