Monetary costs associated with bulimia

Authors


Abstract

Objective:

The direct monetary costs for food and laxatives, diet pills, and diuretics used by individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) have not been studied.

Method:

Ten participants with a presenting clinical diagnosis of BN completed a 7-day food record at the outset of treatment in order to provide estimates of weekly and yearly monetary costs for food and associated symptoms.

Results:

Participants reported means of 3.6 purge episodes, 2.5 objective binge episodes, and 2.4 subjective binge eating episodes per week. Mean total food costs were $106.98/week (SD = $53.88) or $5,581.79/year (SD = $2,811.58). Costs associated with binge eating and purging were 32.7% of all food costs (average: $1,599.45/year).

Conclusion:

Financial costs of bulimia symptoms are significant, and appear to constitute a substantial minority of all food spending by individuals with BN. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009

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