An empirical study of the typology of bulimic symptoms in young Portuguese women

Authors

  • Andrea Poyastro Pinheiro MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cynthia M. Bulik PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Patrick F. Sullivan MD, FRANZCP,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paulo P. P. Machado PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Psicologia, Universidade do Minho, Portugal
    • Departamento de Psicologia, Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar Braga, P-4710 Portugal
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Presented at the 2007 International Conference on Eating Disorders, Baltimore, Maryland, US, May 2-5 2007.

Abstract

Objective:

To investigate whether clusters of bulimic symptoms exist in a community sample of young Portuguese women.

Method:

A total of 2028 females, aged 12–23 years, completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Latent class analysis was applied to the seven bulimic symptoms, age, and body mass index.

Results:

The selected 4-class solution yielded a “healthy” class, reporting minimal binge eating and purging behaviors. A “binge eating” class, resembled binge eating disorder. A “purging” class had infrequent binge eating, but frequent compensatory behaviors. Finally, in a “classic bulimia nervosa” class, binge eating episodes were reported by 95% of participants, and compensatory behaviors were frequently endorsed. EDE -Q global and subscale scores differed across all latent classes.

Conclusion:

In the community, three natural patterns exist: binge eating plus compensatory behaviors, binge eating only, and purging in the absence of binge eating. These results have implications for future revisions of eating disorders nosology. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2008

Ancillary