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Keywords:

  • loss of control eating;
  • adolescents;
  • meal patterns

Abstract

Objective:

To compare the characteristic meal patterns of adolescents with and without loss of control (LOC) eating episodes.

Method:

The Eating Disorder Examination was administered to assess self-reported LOC and frequency of meals consumed in an aggregated sample of 574 youths (12–17 years; 66.6% female; 51.2% Caucasian; BMI-z: 1.38 ± 1.11), among whom 227 (39.6%) reported LOC eating.

Results:

Compared to those without LOC, youth with LOC were less likely to consume lunch and evening meals (p's < .05), but more likely to consume morning, afternoon, and nocturnal snacks (p's ≤ .05), accounting for age, sex, race, socio-economic status, BMI-z, and treatment-seeking status.

Discussion:

Adolescents with reported LOC eating appear to engage in different meal patterns compared to youth without LOC, and adults with binge eating. Further research is needed to determine whether the meal patterns that characterize adolescents with LOC play a role in worsening disordered eating and/or excessive weight gain. Published 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)