Binge eaters: a comparison of eating patterns of those who admit to binging and those who do not


Professor Susan L. Jones RN PhD, Kent State University School of Nursing, Kent, Ohio 44242, USA.


The purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence of undiagnosed bulimic or pre-bulimic behaviours in a normal, but high risk population. A questionnaire eliciting information about eating habits and potential binge episodes, demographic background, and information about height and weight was completed by 479 college students. Subjects were designated as a non-binger, a non-labelled binger, or labelled binger according to their responses. Consistent with previous literature, findings showed a high prevalence of bulimia in the young, female, middle income population. Findings also revealed a group of students who described frequent binge episodes but did not consider themselves to have an eating disorder in that they did not label themselves as ‘binge eaters’ (the non-labelled binge group).