Psychosocial variables associated with binge eating in obese males and females




This study tested a psychosocial model of binge eating symptoms in obese men and women. Predictor variables included depression, dietary restraint, self-esteem, weight cycling, history of teasing, body dissatisfaction, and neuroticism.


Participants (N = 808) completed a packet of self-report questionnaires.


Weight cycling, teasing about weight and shape, body dissatisfaction, negative affect, and dietary restraint comprised the best fitting models (original and cross-validation) for binge eating in women and men. These variables explained 61–72% of the variance in symptoms of binge eating in the samples of men and 70% of the variance in the samples of women. Although the male and female models were mostly similar, notable differences between them were found.


The variables that comprise these etiological models should be considered in the development of prevention programs for obese binge eaters. Longitudinal studies, however, are needed to examine these etiological paths and to test for causal relationships. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 217–221, 2001.