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Perception of control during episodes of eating: Relationships with quality of life and eating psychopathology




Experience of loss of control (LOC) during eating is an important indicator of pathology, although this concept has not received a great deal of research attention. The present study explores how quality of life (QoL) is related to LOC during eating.


Three hundred and thirty-nine female university students completed measures of eating pathology, general psychiatric symptomatology, and QoL. They were subsequently categorized according to the degree of LOC experienced during eating into one of five groups: no binge eating (NBE); objective overeating (OOE); objective binge eating (OBE); subjective binge eating (SBE); and a mixed OBE/SBE group (Mixed).


Individuals who experienced LOC during eating reported significantly poorer QoL and more psychiatric symptoms.


In a nonclinical female sample, LOC during eating appeared to be a more important marker of pathology and poorer self-reported QoL than the amount of food eaten. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)

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