Data suggests that individuals who binge eat are more responsive to food cues in the environment and less sensitive to satiety cues. The aim of this open trial was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and initial effectiveness of a novel treatment grounded in Schachter's externality theory targeting food cue reactivity and satiety responsiveness with obese adults who binge eat. Treatment was provided in groups, and utilized appetite monitoring, cue-exposure treatment, in vivo exercises, self-monitoring, and coping skills. Twenty-eight overweight and obese adults who binge eat (82% female; mean age = 47.5 years [SD = 12.8]; BMI = 38.9 [SD = 10.3]; 79% White non-Hispanic) participated in a 4-month group-based treatment program. Assessments were conducted at baseline, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up time points. Results indicated that this treatment was well accepted and had high retention at posttreatment. Initial effectiveness showed significant decreases in BMI, and improvements in loss of control and overeating episodes, food responsiveness, and power of food. The majority of results were maintained at the 3-month follow-up time point. This open trial provides preliminary evidence for the feasibility, acceptability, and initial effectiveness of this treatment on both eating disorder symptoms and weight in obese adults who binge eat. Because these data are preliminary, further treatment development and randomized controlled studies are needed.
- binge eating
- cue reactivity