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Keywords:

  • bulimia nervosa;
  • alcohol intoxication;
  • subjective effects;
  • attention;
  • mood;
  • eating-related urges

Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on eating-related urges among women with bulimia nervosa (BN).

Method:

Participants included women with BN or normal-weight eating disorder NOS with regular binge/purge symptoms (N = 13), and normal-eater control women (N = 17). Tested individually, the women reported on their mood state as well as on urges to binge eat and engage in various compensatory behaviors, prior to consuming alcohol, and again at 60 and 180 min following the consumption of 1.0 ml kg−1 alcohol.

Results:

Both groups reported feeling less clearheaded after drinking, as well as initial subjective mood stimulation followed by subsequent mood lowering. In addition, BN participants reported reductions in their urges to binge eat, exercise compulsively, and restrict food intake following alcohol consumption—the urge to purge was not significantly affected.

Discussion:

Among women with BN, alcohol consumption appeared to reduce select eating-related urges with concomitant reductions in attention or concentration. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011; 44:333–339)