Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Binge Eating More Common Than Other Eating Disorders, Survey Finds

Date:
February 4, 2007
Source:
McLean Hospital
Summary:
The first national survey of individuals with eating disorders shows that binge eating disorder is more prevalent than either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, also calls binge eating disorder a "major public health burden" because of its direct link to severe obesity and other serious health effects.

The first national survey of individuals with eating disorders shows that binge eating disorder is more prevalent than either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, also calls binge eating disorder a "major public health burden" because of its direct link to severe obesity and other serious health effects.

"For the first time, we have nationally representative data on eating disorders. These data clearly show that binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder," says lead author James I. Hudson, MD, ScD, director of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Program at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The study (abstract), published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, is based on data obtained over two years in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), a survey of more than 9,000 people from across the United States about their mental health. Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, principal investigator of the NCS-R, and Eva Hiripi, of Harvard Medical School, and Harrison Pope Jr., MD, director of McLean Hospital's Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, are co-authors of the paper.

The survey found that 0.9 percent of women and 0.3 percent of men reported having anorexia nervosa at some point in their lives, and that 1.5 percent of women and 0.5 percent of men reported having bulimia nervosa. By contrast, binge eating disorder, a condition in which individuals experience frequent uncontrolled eating binges without purging, afflicts 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men at some point in their lives.

"Everybody knows about anorexia and bulimia; however, binge eating disorder affects more people, is often associated with severe obesity and tends to persist longer,'' Hudson says. "The consequences of binge eating disorder can be serious-including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It is imperative that health experts take notice of these findings."

The survey also found that the average lifetime duration of anorexia was 1.7 years, compared to 8.3 years for bulimia and 8.1 years for binge eating disorder. "Contrary to what people may believe, anorexia is not necessarily a chronic illness; in many cases, it runs its course and people get better without seeking treatment. So our survey suggests that for every one severe case [of anorexia], there may be many other milder cases."

The survey calls for further study of why some individuals with anorexia are able to recover more quickly and why others are crippled by the illness, say Hudson and Pope. "If we identified the factors that allowed people to recover from eating disorders quicker than others, then we might be better able to prevent the chronic, severe cases."

The findings, say Hudson and Pope, offer additional scientific support for including the diagnosis of binge eating disorder as an official psychiatric diagnosis in the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McLean Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McLean Hospital. "Binge Eating More Common Than Other Eating Disorders, Survey Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070203103249.htm>.
McLean Hospital. (2007, February 4). Binge Eating More Common Than Other Eating Disorders, Survey Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070203103249.htm
McLean Hospital. "Binge Eating More Common Than Other Eating Disorders, Survey Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070203103249.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins