Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), characterized by vascular symptoms, is strongly correlated with obesity, weight-related medical diseases, and mortality and has increased commensurately with secular increases in obesity in the United States. Little is known about the distribution of MetSyn in obese patients with binge eating disorder (BED) or its associations with different developmental trajectories of dieting, binge eating, and obesity problems. Furthermore, inconsistencies in the limited data necessitate elucidation. This study examined the frequency and correlates of MetSyn in a consecutive series of 148 treatment-seeking obese men and women with BED assessed with structured clinical interviews. Almost half of the participants met the criteria for MetSyn. Participants with MetSyn did not differ from those without MetSyn on demographic variables or disordered eating psychopathology. However, our findings suggest that MetSyn is associated with a distinct developmental trajectory, specifically a later age at BED onset and shorter BED duration. Although the findings from this study shed some light on MetSyn and its associations with developmental trajectories of eating and weight-related behaviors, notable inconsistencies characterize the limited literature. Prospective studies are needed to examine causal connections in the development of the MetSyn in relation to disordered eating in addition to excess weight.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health ( R01 DK49587 , K24 DK070052 , and K23 DK071646 ).