Frequency of binge eating episodes in bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder: Diagnostic considerations

Authors

  • G. Terence Wilson PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey
    • Rutgers University Eating Disorders Clinic, 41C Gordon Rd., Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
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  • Robyn Sysko PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University, The Division of Clinical Therapeutics, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
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Abstract

Objective:

In DSM-IV, to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa (BN) or the provisional diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED), an individual must experience episodes of binge eating is “at least twice a week” on average, for 3 or 6 months, respectively. The purpose of this review was to examine the validity and utility of the frequency criterion for BN and BED.

Method:

Published studies evaluating the frequency criterion were reviewed.

Results:

Our review found little evidence to support the validity or utility of the DSM-IV frequency criterion of twice a week binge eating; however, the number of studies available for our review was limited.

Discussion:

A number of options are available for the frequency criterion in DSM-V, and the optimal diagnostic threshold for binge eating remains to be determined. © 2009 American Psychiatric Association. Int J Eat Disord 2009

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