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Keywords:

  • substance use;
  • eating disorders;
  • alcohol

Abstract

Objective

There has been little research examining the relative importance of the amount of substance consumed versus consequences of substance use in persons with eating disorders. The current study examined the status of both aspects of alcohol use in persons with problematic eating behavior.

Method

Twenty-one women who reported purging on the National College Health Assessment were identified from a larger (N = 391) sample. A matched group was also created from the larger sample. These groups were compared on alcohol consumption and negative alcohol-related consequences.

Results

Participants who purged reported both more frequent alcohol use and more negative consequences of alcohol use than the comparison group. Some of the negative consequences were severe.

Discussion

The current study extends previous research on the association between eating disorders and alcohol use disorders. Because alcohol use and the negative consequences of alcohol use are not identical, they both should be assessed in persons with eating disorders. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.