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Keywords:

  • binge eating;
  • obesity;
  • body image;
  • body dissatisfaction;
  • eating disorder

Abstract

Objective:

Undue influence of body shape or weight on self-evaluation—referred to as overvaluation—is considered a core feature across eating disorders, but is not a diagnostic requirement for binge eating disorder (BED). This article addresses the relevance of a feature reflecting disturbance in body image for the diagnosis of BED.

Method:

The distinction between overvaluation of shape/weight and body dissatisfaction is discussed, and empirical research regarding the concurrent and predictive significance of overvaluation of shape/weight for BED is reviewed.

Results:

The literature suggests that overvaluation does not simply reflect concern or distress commensurate with excess weight, is reliably associated with greater severity of eating-related psychopathology and psychological distress, and has reliably shown negative prognostic significance.

Discussion:

Overvaluation of shape/weight warrants consideration as a diagnostic specifier for BED. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013)