This study examined the physical activity levels reported by obese individuals with binge eating disorder (BED), as well as the relationships between physical activity and body mass index (BMI), features of eating disorders, and associated psychological variables.
A series of 166 obese treatment-seeking adults (121 women and 45 men) with BED were administered structured diagnostic interviews and self-report questionnaires.
This clinical group was found to be extremely sedentary. Self-reported physical activity levels, measured by the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire, were comparable with those reported by obese samples with or without binge eating in other studies, but were considerably lower than those reported by a community sample. Lifestyle physical activity (e.g., amounts of walking and stair climbing) and sports and recreational physical activity were unrelated to most clinical characteristics. BMI was significantly, albeit weakly, associated with reported sports and recreational activities in women, but not in men.
Our findings highlight the degree to which obese patients with BED are inactive. Physical activity was largely uncorrelated with measures of eating disorder and psychological functioning in both men and women but was significantly, but weakly, correlated with BMI in women. Additional research is needed to determine the clinical value of physical activity for this patient group. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006