Many researchers have questioned whether patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) have more prominent impulsive or compulsive traits and whether eating disorders should be considered to be obsessivel compulsive (OC) spectrum disorders. It this paper we compare the extent to which individuals with BN and binge eating disorder (BED) exhibit both OC and impulsive traits. Thirty-one women with BN and 39 women with BED were enrolled in this study. Psychiatric diagnoses were made using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R and participants completed a number of questionnaires (including one developed by the authors) to assess impulsive and OC traints. Compared to the BED group, the BN group reported spending significantly more time being preoccupied.