Binge Eating and Weight Loss in a Self-Help Behavior Modification Program


Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 15 Parkman Street, WAC 812, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail:


Objective: To examine the occurrence of binge eating and its impact on weight loss outcomes among obese participants in the Trevose Behavior Modification Program, a lay-administered, lay-directed self-help weight loss program offering continuing care.

Research Methods and Procedures: Participants completed questionnaires, and weight loss data were recorded prospectively.

Results: Although objective bulimic episodes were reported by 41% of the sample, objective bulimic episodes were not associated with worse weight loss outcomes. Mean weight loss after 12 months was 18.2 kg (18.8% of initial body weight) for the treatment completers and 10.3 kg (10.5% of initial body weight) for the full sample (using intent-to-treat analyses, with baseline scores carried forward).

Discussion: Substantial long-term weight loss, resulting from a continuing care treatment program, occurred in individuals both with and without frequent binge eating.