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Keywords:

  • bulimia nervosa;
  • point prevalence;
  • EDNOS

Abstract

Objective:

This study investigated the point prevalence of probable cases of bulimia nervosa (BN), eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), and specific eating disorder symptomatology among 6,844 undergraduate women at a single site, examining changes across five 3-year time periods and on a yearly basis from 1990 to 2004.

Method:

Participants completed a self-report checklist that assessed the diagnostic criteria for BN (American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 1994) and the Bulimia Test (Smith and Thelen, J Consult Clin Psychol, 52, 863–872, 1984) (BULIT) or Bulimia Test-Revised (Thelen et al., Psychol Assess, 3, 119–124, 1991) (BULIT-R).

Results:

Chi-square analyses comparing the percentages of probable cases of BN and EDNOS and the percentages of women who reported frequent binge eating and most compensatory weight control strategies were nonsignificant. Only the percentages of women who endorsed overconcern with weight and shape and diuretic use and excessive exercise as compensatory weight control strategies changed over time.

Conclusion:

Consistent with Keel et al.'s (Keel et al., Psychol Med, 36, 119–127, 2006) findings regarding the point prevalence rates of BN from 1992 to 2002, results indicated that probable cases of eating disorders remained relatively stable. Methodologically, this research illustrates the importance of examining multiple data points when investigating stability or change in behavior. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008