The incidence of bulimia in freshman college students

Richard L. Pyle, James E. Mitchell, Elke D Eckert, Patricia A. Halvorson, Patricia A. Neuman, Gretchen M. Goff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


This paper reports the results of a questionnaire survey administered to 1355 college freshman (98.3% response rate) and to a comparison group of 37 female bulimic patients. Questions were contructed to elicit information which would allow identification of those respondents who would meet DSM‐III requirements for diagnosis of bulimia. 2.1% of the student population (4.5% of females, 0.4% of males) met these modified criteria and the additional criterion of weekly binge‐eating. The identified “bulimic” female students differed from female bulimic patients in their use of fasting instead of self‐induced vomiting for weight control, and in their tendency to be overweight. “Bulimic” female students are also compared with nonbulimic students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983


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