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Keywords:

  • binge eating;
  • adolescents;
  • overweight;
  • classification;
  • loss of control

Abstract

Objective:

Given limited data on the diagnostic validity of binge eating disorder (BED) in adolescents, this study sought to characterize overweight adolescents according to types of overeating episodes.

Method:

Ninety-six adolescents (ages 13–17 years) with recurrent binge eating (BE), loss of control with or without overeating (subclinical BE; SUB), overeating without loss of control (OE), and no overeating or loss of control episodes (CONTROL) were compared on weight/shape concerns and depressive symptoms using ANCOVA and post-hoc least squares difference tests.

Results:

BE and SUB adolescents had higher weight/shape concern scores than OEs and CONTROLs (ps < .01). BE and SUB adolescents had higher depression scores than CONTROL adolescents (ps < .05). BE adolescents had greater depression scores than OE (p < .01) but not SUB adolescents.

Conclusion:

Loss of control over eating signals increased impairment independent of overeating in adolescents. Results support refining BED criteria for youth to reflect this distinction. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2008