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Keywords:

  • binge eating disorder;
  • obesity feeding laboratory setting

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the number of foods presented and the amount of food presented on overeating or binge eating behavior in obese subjects with and without binge eating disorder (BED).

Method

Ten subjects (5 BED, 5 non-BED), male and female, aged 18–65, participated. Their body weight was ≥130% of their ideal body weight (IBW). They were evaluated in a feeding laboratory setting on four occasions when they were presented with (a) either one or two binge foods presented in (b) either two or four times the amount of their self-reported usual intake during a binge/overeating episode. Measurement included energy intake and self-recorded measures of hunger, fullness, anxiety, and depression.

Results

The results indicated that the number and amount of food presented influenced significantly the amount of food consumed. Although subjects with BED tended to eat more than the non-BED obese, the differences did not reach statistical significance.

Discussion

The results have implications for the interpretation of results obtained in feeding laboratory settings, suggesting that attention needs to be given to both the number and amount of foods presented because both variables have an impact on the amount of food eaten during overeating or binge eating episodes. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 441–446, 2001.