Binge eating disorder with and without a history of purging symptoms

Carol B. Peterson, James E. Mitchell, Sara Engbloom, Sean Nugent, Melissa Pederson Mussell, Scott J. Crow, James P. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a history of purging behaviors in individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) is associated with increased comorbid psychopathology, dietary restraint, severity of eating pathology, and attitudinal disturbance in self-esteem and body image. Method: Sixty-three women meeting DSM- IV criteria for BED who were participating in a psychotherapy treatment study were subclassified according to whether they reported a history of purging behavior using self-induced vomiting or laxatives (HP; N = 24) or no such history (NHP; N = 39). The two groups were compared on the following variables: DSM-IV Axis I Lifetime diagnoses, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Body Shape Questionnaire, Three Factor Eating Questionnaire, Binge Eating Scale, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results: Data analyses revealed no significant differences between the two BED subgroups on any of the measures. Discussion: These findings indicate that a history of purging behavior in BED is not associated with increased rates of comorbid psychopathology, severity of eating problems, dietary restraint, or attitudinal disturbance. Purging history does not appear to be a Clinically meaningful variable with which to subclassify individuals with BED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Binge eating disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Purging


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