A preliminary examination of a nonpurging compensatory eating disorder


  • Supported by Florida State University (Mark A. Berkeley Undergraduate Research Endowment; Mentored Research and Creative Activity Award) and by R01 MH61836 from the National Institute of Mental Health.



To evaluate correlates of a compensatory eating disorder (CED) characterized by recurrent nonpurging compensatory behaviors in the absence of objectively large binge episodes among normal weight individuals who endorse undue influence of weight/shape on self-evaluation as possible indicators of clinical significance and distinctiveness.


Women with CED (n = 20), women with bulimia nervosa (BN) (n = 20), and controls (n = 20) completed an interview and questionnaires assessing eating disorder and general psychopathology and weight history.


Compared with controls, women with CED reported significantly greater body image disturbance and disordered eating, higher anxiety proneness, increased perfectionism, and greater weight suppression. Compared with BN, CED was associated with significantly less body image disturbance, disordered eating, weight suppression, and lower likelihood of being overweight in childhood. However, CED and BN did not differ on anxiety proneness or perfectionism.


CED merits further examination to determine whether it is a clinically significant and distinct eating disorder. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:239–243)