Natural course of a community sample of women with binge eating disorder.
Cachelin FM., Striegel-Moore RH., Elder KA., Pike KM., Wilfley DE., Fairburn CG.
OBJECTIVE: A community sample of women with binge eating disorder (BED) was followed for a period of 6 months, in order to examine the natural course of the disorder. METHOD: Baseline, 3-, and 6-month assessments were conducted. The following variables were examined: eating disorder symptomatology, importance of weight or shape, psychopathology, social adjustment, childhood sexual abuse, childhood obesity, parental obesity, and parental psychopathology. RESULTS: After the 3-month follow-up, 10 of the original sample of 31 participants dropped out of the study; drop-outs were more likely to have reported a history of sexual abuse. Of the 21 remaining participants, 11 continued to suffer from full-syndrome BED at 6-month follow-up, while the remaining 10 appeared to be in partial remission. There were no significant baseline predictors of outcome. CONCLUSION: It appears that for some women with BED, the eating disorder improves with a decrease in binge eating and importance of weight or shape. For others, the eating disorder symptoms remain constant.