Binge Eating Disorder

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The DSM IV provides research criteria for BED in Appendix B. The clinical picture is similar to BN, with the important absence of compensatory purging. CBT and IPT are at least as effective in treating BED as BN, and group treatment with either therapy is well accepted (Wilfley et al., 1993). However, BED is extremely common and could easily overwhelm eating disorder services.

Many BED patients are overweight. Psychological approaches emphasise the benefits of stability, at whatever weight, and discourage dieting. However, medical services for obesity are more likely to urge dieting and weight reduction. Interdisciplinary dialogue is likely to be as important in the future management of obesity (with and without binge eating) as in the management of anorexia.

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