Regular Article (CE Activity)
Subjective binge eating with compensatory behaviors: A variant presentation of bulimia nervosa
Article first published online: 22 AUG 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 119–126, March 2013
How to Cite
Watson, H. J., Fursland, A., Bulik, C. M. and Nathan, P. (2013), Subjective binge eating with compensatory behaviors: A variant presentation of bulimia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 46: 119–126. doi: 10.1002/eat.22052
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 22 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JUL 2012
- bulimia nervosa;
- eating disorders;
- objective binge eating;
- subjective binge eating
To determine whether a variant bulimic-type presentation, whereby one meets criteria for bulimia nervosa (BN) except that binge eating episodes are not objectively large (i.e., “subjective bulimia nervosa,” SBN), has comparable clinical severity to established eating disorders, particularly BN.
Treatment-seeking adults with BN (N = 112), SBN (N = 28), anorexia nervosa restricting type (AN-R) (N = 45), and AN-binge/purge type (AN-B/P) (N = 24) were compared.
Overall, SBN could not be meaningfully distinguished from BN. SBN and BN had equivalent eating pathology, depression and anxiety symptoms, low quality of life, impulsivity, Axis I comorbidity, and lifetime psychiatric history, and comparable clinical severity to AN-R and AN-B/P.
Individuals with SBN, differing from BN only by the smaller size of their binge eating episodes, had a form of eating disorder comparable in clinical severity to threshold AN and BN and warranting clinical attention. Health professionals and the community require greater awareness of this variant to optimize detection, treatment-seeking, and outcomes. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013)