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Keywords:

  • binge eating disorder;
  • abnormal eating behavior;
  • food consumption;
  • lack of control

Abstract

Introduction

Because of questions about the accuracy of reported food intake, and in order to study psychological and environmental factors which might affect eating, a number of investigators have examined the eating behavior of individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) under controlled conditions that permit food consumption to be measured.

Methods

Published studies that evaluated the eating behavior of individuals with BED in a laboratory were reviewed.

Results

In laboratory meals, individuals with BED consumed more kilocalories than individuals of similar weight who did not meet criteria for BED. These differences are observed consistently when subjects are asked to binge eat and when they are not.

Conclusions

In a laboratory setting, individuals with BED exhibit objectively abnormal eating behavior. These data support, but do not prove, the validity of BED as a diagnostic entity. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: S30–S38, 2003.