Weight and Shape Overvaluation in BED
Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
March/April 2010 Volume 21, Number 2
©2010 Gürze Books
Increasing evidence supports the validity of including binge eating disorder (BED) as a formal diagnosis in the DSM-V. However, one question that hasn’t been answered is, should the diagnosis of BED, like bulimia nervosa (BN), include the criterion of overvaluation of shape/weight?
Dr. Carlos Grilo and colleagues examined the significance of overvaluation for BED using two complementary comparison groups (Obesity. 2010; 183; 499). Participants included 324 women who completed self-report questionnaires as part of an Internet-based study. The women were divided into four study groups: 123 overweight participants without eating disorders, 47 BED participants who did not overvalue shape/weight, 101 BED participants who overvalued shape/weight, and 53 participants with BN.
Both BED groups had significantly greater eating disorders symptoms than did the overweight group. Among those with BED, women who were found to overvalue shape/weight had significantly greater eating disorder psychopathology and depressive levels than other groups despite no differences in binge eating. The group that had BED and overvaluation of shape/weight and the BN group differed little from each other, but both had significantly higher eating disorders psychopathology and depressive levels than did the other groups. Group differences persisted across the groups, despite similar age and body mass indexes for all groups, even when the results were controlled for differences in depressive levels.
The authors concluded that their results provide further evidence that overvaluation of shape/weight, which provides important information about the severity of BED, warrants consideration as either a diagnostic specifier or as a way to determine severity of the disorder. This, would, however, exclude a substantial number of BED patients with clinically significant problems.