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Overvaluation, Binge Eating Linked to Functional Impairment

THURSDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 -- Overvaluation and binge eating are strong and unique predictors of distress and impairment among women with binge-eating disorder (BED), according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Deborah Mitchison, Ph.D., from Macquarie University in Sydney, and colleagues examined the relative contributions of binge eating, body image disturbance, and body mass index (BMI) to distress and disability in BED. Data were included from a community sample of 174 women with BED-type symptomatology. The correlations between predictors and outcomes were assessed.

The researchers noted moderate to strong correlations for binge eating and overvaluation with distress and functional impairment, while there was no association for BMI with distress, and a weak correlation with functional impairment. Both overvaluation and binge eating were strong and unique predictors of distress and impairment. Overvaluation had a particularly strong contribution to variance in functional impairment, while BMI did not uniquely predict impairment or distress.

"The findings support the inclusion of overvaluation as a diagnostic criterion or specifier in BED and the need to focus on body image disturbance in treatment and public health efforts in order to reduce the individual and community health burden of this condition," the authors write.

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Posted: February 2018