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Keywords:

  • obesity;
  • binge eating;
  • bulimia;
  • eating disorders;
  • eating behavior

Abstract

Objective:

To better understand the eating patterns of persons with eating disorders.

Method:

This study investigated typical eating behavior (meal frequency and snacking) and atypical eating behavior among 311 community women with on-line questionnaires. Participants were classified with bulimia nervosa (BN; n =39), binge eating disorder (BED; n = 69), or controls (CON; n = 203).

Results:

In terms of typical eating behaviors, the BN group ate significantly fewer meals, particularly lunches, than the other two groups. Atypical eating, such as nibbling, eating double meals and nocturnal eating, was significantly more common in the eating disorder groups. More frequent breakfast consumption was associated with lower BMI in the BED and CON groups, and more frequent meal consumption was associated with less binge eating in the BED group only.

Discussion:

Our study revealed differences in typical and atypical eating patterns, and associations with weight and eating disorder behaviors among eating disorder and control groups. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010