Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to assess the validity of the DSM-IV scheme for classifying recurrent binge eating. METHOD: A general population sample of 250 young women with recurrent binge eating was recruited using a two-stage design. Information on their eating habits and associated psychopathology was obtained by personal interviews. Subjects were reassessed 1 year later. RESULTS: The diagnosis of bulimia nervosa had good descriptive and predictive validity. On present state features it was not possible to distinguish binge-eating disorder from the nonpurging subtype of bulimia nervosa. However, these groups differed in their outcome at 1 year. Within eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), there was a subgroup of subjects with milder symptoms which were relatively unstable over time. DISCUSSION: The findings suggest that bulimic eating disorders exist on a continuum of clinical severity, from bulimia nervosa purging type (most severe), through bulimia nervosa nonpurging type (intermediate severity), to binge-eating disorder (least severe). The data on outcome support retaining a distinction between nonpurging bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Eat Disord

Publication Date





7 - 15


Adolescent, Adult, Bulimia, Female, Humans, Predictive Value of Tests, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Reproducibility of Results, Severity of Illness Index