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Keywords:

  • impulsive;
  • OCD;
  • depression;
  • binge eating disorder;
  • obesity;
  • food intake;
  • loss of control

Abstract

Objective:

Studies have linked increased impulsivity and compulsivity with bulimia nervosa (BN). Less is known about this relationship in binge eating disorder (BED).

Method:

Seventy-nine overweight participants (28 male, 65 females) were classified as BED (n = 22), BE (Subthreshold BED, not meeting full criteria for BED) (n = 21), and non-BED (n = 36). Following an 8-hr fast, participants completed psychological scales to assess impulsivity, compulsivity, and depression. They then consumed a liquid test meal until extremely full.

Results:

Test meal intake (TMI) was significantly greater for both BED and BE than non-BED participants. Impulsivity and depression scores were significantly higher in BED and BE than in non-BED participants. Men had significantly higher compulsivity scores than women. Impulsivity correlated significantly with TMI, accounting for 16% of the variance.

Conclusion:

There was greater impulsivity in BED and BE, compared with non-BED. Moreover, impulsivity was the best predictor of TMI, and may play a larger role in BE than previously realized. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007