Monetary costs associated with bulimia

Scott J Crow, Maria J. Frisch, Carol B Peterson, Jillian Croll, Susan K. Raatz, John A Nyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: The direct monetary costs for food and laxatives, diet pills, and diuretics used by individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) have not been studied. Method: Ten participants with a presenting clinical diagnosis of BN completed a 7-day food record at the outset of treatment in order to provide estimates of weekly and yearly monetary costs for food and associated symptoms. Results: Participants reported means of 3.6 purge episodes, 2.5 objective binge episodes, and 2.4 subjective binge eating episodes per week. Mean total food costs were $106.98/week (SD = $53.88) or $5,581.79/year (SD = $2,811.58). Costs associated with binge eating and purging were 32.7% of all food costs (average: $1,599.45/year). Conclusion: Financial costs of bulimia symptoms are significant, and appear to constitute a substantial minority of all food spending by individuals with BN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-83
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Cost
  • Food


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