• onset of obesity;
  • risk factors;
  • eating disturbance;
  • weight disturbance


Objective: The primary goal of this study was to examine associations among teasing history, onset of obesity, current eating disorder psychopathology, body dissatisfaction, and psychological functioning in women with Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

Research Methods and Procedures: Subjects were 115 female adults who met DSM-IV criteria for BED. Measurements assessing teasing history (general appearance [GAT] and weight and size [WST] teasing), current eating disorder psychopathology (binge frequency, eating restraint, and concerns regarding eating, shape, and weight), body dissatisfaction, and psychological functioning (depression and self-esteem) were obtained.

Results: History of GAT, but not WST, was associated with current weight concerns and body dissatisfaction, whereas both GAT and WST were significantly associated with current psychological functioning. Patients with earlier onset of obesity reported more WST than patients with later onset of obesity, but the groups did not differ significantly in GAT, current eating disorder psychopathology, body dissatisfaction, or psychological functioning. Obese women reported more WST than non-obese women, but no differences in GAT or the other outcome variables were observed. Higher frequency of GAT was associated with greater binge frequency in obese women, and with greater eating restraint in non-obese women.

Discussion: Although physical appearance teasing history is not associated with variability in most eating disorder psychopathology, it is associated with related functioning, most notably body dissatisfaction, depression, and self-esteem. Our findings also suggest that the age of onset of obesity and current body mass index status in isolation are not associated with eating psychopathology or associated psychological functioning in adult patients with BED.